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The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History

The best thing about Jason Vuic’s book about the Yugo is the priceless collection of Yugo jokes he has compiled for it. For instance: “Q: What do you call a Yugo with brakes? A: Customized.” Another: “Q: What do you call a Yugo that breaks down after 100 miles? A: An overachiever.” Vuic, who teaches history at Virginia’s Bridgewater College, writes what amounts to a business farce, detailing how the Balkan lemon first arrived in America 25 years ago this month and ended up in thousands of American garages and just as many punch lines. Sometimes the story sputters — his relentless focus on Malcolm Bricklin, the serial entrepreneurial failure who masterminded the Yugo’s import, just gets annoying. But you can say this about Vuic’s book, if not of its pathetic subject: For the most part, it works. — JEFF CHU

tue, march 09

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