Trust and Power argues that corporations have faced conflicts with the very consumers whose loyalty they sought. The book provides novel insights into the dialogue between modern corporations and consumers by examining automobiles during the 20th century. In the new market at the turn of the century, automakers produced defective cars, and consumers faced risks of physical injuries as well as financial losses. By the 1920s automobiles were sold in a mass market where state agencies intervened to monitor, however imperfectly, product quality and fair pricing mechanisms. After 1945, the market matured as most U.S. families came to rely on auto transport. Automakers sold a product suited to the unequal distribution of income. Again, the state intervened to regulate relations between buyers and sellers in terms of who had access to credit, and thus the ability to purchase expensive durables like automobiles.