Book: Death Drive

James Dean, Jackson Pollock, Helmut Newton and Albert Camus: the celebrity car crash is explored in a new book

A new book from Circa Press explores the phenomenon of the celebrity car crash.

Written by Stephen Bayley, Death Drive looks at how the tragic deaths of people such as James Dean, Jackson Pollock, Helmut Newton and Albert Camus in car crashes helped cement their names in popular culture.

The book also acts as an essay on the historic place of the car in the modern psyche.

“More emotions are involved in cars than in anything else we make or use,” writes Bayley “[...] But when all this mixed bag of perverse promise and certain threat ends in the catastrophe of a fatal collision, these same talismanic qualities acquire an extra dimension and stimulate a fascinated, while appalled, voyeurism.”

Stephen Bayley is a writer, consultant, broadcaster, curator and founding director of the Design Museum, London. When speaking about Bayley, the famed new journalism writer Tom Wolfe said, “I don’t know anybody with more interesting observations about style, taste and contemporary design.”