Bumper Sticker Wisdom: America’s Pulpit Above the Tailpipe

Carol Gardner

“This is a book about bumper stickers and the people behind them. It is a portrait of America: a nation of people in automobiles… on the move with stickers expressing a view, sharing a frustration, or offering some perceived insight, solution or wisdom. Mobility, technology, personality and free expression all in one. What could be more American?”
What indeed? This is an extrordinarily thought-provoking look at the human factor behind the sound-bites and slogans that define “us” and “them.” It’s divided into 14 categories (work, family and education, animals, politics, traffic, relationships, religion, pro-choice/life, the environment, peace and war, region, diversity, life and death and miscellaneous), each page includes a life-size reproduction of a bumper sticker (surrounded by smaller ones in the case of multiples), a portrait of each vehicle’s owner and some basic facts about him/her (age, education, occupation, favorite pastimes, favorite book, favorite movie, pet peeve). A brief anecdote explains how each motorist came to have the sticker and in some cases an author’s note about her encounter with the mobile commentators. Given the diversity of opinions expressed, the author is incredibly evenhanded and fair. These are the real people who actually hold these views, so the going gets a little scary at times. This book puts a human face on these mobile propagandists, reminding us that however diverse our beliefs might be, it is members of our own species that adhere to them. SA

Publisher: Beyond Words
Paperback: 176 pages