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Policing the Open Road Named One of the Ten Best History Books of 2019

Smithsonian magazine recently named Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom by Professor Sarah A. Seo one of the ten best history books of 2019.

Professor Seo’s book explores how the rise of the car, which many consider the symbol of American personal freedom, inadvertently led to ever more intrusive policing.

Policing the Open Road was released earlier this year to high praise. Hua Hsu of The New Yorker found Policing the Open Road a “fascinating examination of how the automobile reconfigured American life,” which is “filled with riveting, deeply researched accounts of interactions between drivers and cops back when the rules governing such incidents were still hazy.” Nathan Heller, also of The New Yorker, called the book “remarkable.” Emily Prifogle, who reviewed the book for The New Rambler, called Policing the Open Road “a beautifully written book that moves seamlessly from doctrinal analysis to exploration of themes in popular culture.”

Read Smithsonian’s list of the ten best history books of 2019 here.

For more publications by Professor Seo, a legal historian of criminal law and procedure in the twentieth-century United States, visit her faculty bibliography page.

Sarah Seo