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From the New York Times bestselling author comes a timely and illuminating history of personal transportation, and how it has transformed the world we live in.
Beginning around 3,500 BC with the wheel, and moving through the eras of horsepower, trains and bicycles, Tom Standage puts the rise of the car - and the future of urban transport - into a broader historical context.
Our society has been shaped by the car in innumerable ways, many of which are so familiar that we no longer notice them. Why does red mean stop and green mean go? Why do some countries drive on the left, and some on the right? How did cars, introduced only a little over a century ago, change the way the world was administered, laid out and policed, along with experiences like eating and shopping? And what might travel in a post-car world look like?
As social transformations from ride-sharing to the global pandemic force us to critically re-examine our relationship with personal transportation, A Brief History of Motion is an essential contribution to our understanding of how the modern world came to be.
Tom Standage is digital editor at the Economist and editor-in-chief of its website, Economist.com. He is the author of six history books, including An Edible History of Humanity, the New York Times bestseller A History of the World in Six Glasses and The Victorian Internet. His writing has also appeared in the Daily Telegraph, the New York Times and Wired. He lives in London.