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Thinking Small: The Long, Strange Trip of the Volkswagen Beetle

Thinking Small: The Long, Strange Trip of the Volkswagen Beetle - Andrea Hiott I began this book thinking it was just another book about a type of car and would be a fun but unassuming read. What this book is,is a horse of a very different color. Thinking Small is much more the history of an idea, a concept. The concept being the VW "Beetle". In this brillant book Andrea Hiott take the time and goes into great length and depth about VW. She traces the lives of its creators and the admen who made it famous here in the United States. (The Book's title is taken from the most famous of these camapaigns.)

Centrally Thinking Small is aaobut three men and their connection to the beetle: Ferdinand Porsche who designed it and fought to see it finally built, Heinrich Nordhoff who brought the beetle finally into mass production and built the infrastructure for VW's International success and Bill Bernbach, titular head of DDB, the advertising firm that, in its ads for VW took the US by storm and made the beetle into a counter-culture icon.

In focusing on these individuals Hiott has taken a possibly dry subject and made it sing. Her prose flows beautifully and makes Thinking Small into that rarest of rarities: a fun and deeply profound work about the creativity of the human mind and the sheer determination of the driven dreamers assembled here to make it a reality.