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Jane Holtz Kay knows Americans love their cars. She understands that automotive lust is enough to fight wars and pillage countries over (Shell in Nigeria, Unocal and Texaco in Burma). And it’s no secret that cars dominate our culture back home; gas-station convenience stores are deemed cool hangouts for kids (check any recent slacker flick), and when most adults talk about class issues they’re really talking about Acuras. Luckily for you and me, Kay feels our pain. An architecture critic, she has written Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take It Back. The book offers up telling details—from cities fleshed out into “Motor Colonies” to cases of complete auto dependence (she’s not talking about Crash)—as well as complex and specific solutions. Take mass transit to arrive at those answers when Kay reads at 6:30 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $12. For reservations call (202) 272-2448. (Jason Cherkis)