'Speckled with anecdotes, insights and surprises. It is great fun - and utterly timely' Sunday Times
'Standage writes with a masterly clarity' New York Times
'The product of deep research, great intelligence and burnished prose . . . It is rare that I encounter a non-fiction author whose prose is so elegant that it is worth reading for itself. Standage is a writer of this class' Wall Street Journal
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.
Speckled with anecdotes, insights and surprises . . . It is great fun - and utterly timely - Sunday Times
Eminently readable . . . Standage writes with a masterly clarity - New York Times Book Review
The product of deep research, great intelligence and burnished prose . . . An unusually astute futurist, Mr. Standage offers observations about where we are now and where we might be heading that should be taken seriously . . . It is rare that I encounter a nonfiction author whose prose is so elegant that it is worth reading for itself. Mr. Standage is a writer of this class - Wall Street Journal
There was a gap in the market for an accessible book that tied together the technology and politics of cars, and Standage has filled it beautifully. Pithy anecdotes make the book readable; the central question - that of what comes next - makes it worth reading - Financial Times
Richly rewarding . . . [Standage] starts at the beginning, with the advent of the wheel (probably in Eastern Europe in around 3500 BC), and then traces its astonishing impact on human history . . . Contains a great deal to fascinate -- Book of the Week - The Week
Informative and utterly entertaining, it should serve as a helpful manual for negotiating our future - The Herald
Tom Standage has a gift for explaining how our modern world came to be and might evolve. In A Brief History of Motion, his skills as a historian and his trademark insight and wit shine in a way that will make your mind whir every time you hop on a bike or get behind the wheel of a car. This book is full of surprises and an absolute delight -- Ashlee Vance, New York Times bestselling author of Elon Musk
Perceptive, pragmatic, but never pedestrian, this is an irrepressible survey of how we've travelled through the ages, and it zips along like the most pleasurable of journeys -- Simon Garfield, New York Times-bestselling author of Just My Type and On the Map
On the past, present, and future of transportation, Tom Standage has crafted the book to read, full of anecdote and keen observation, and seamlessly written -- Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics, George Mason University, and New York Times-bestselling author of The Great Stagnation and Average Is Over
Tom Standage takes us on a quick spin, from no wheels for anybody to nobody at the wheel-much of it over back roads that were entirely new to me -- George Dyson, author of Turing’s Cathedral and Analogia
There aren't many books this entertaining that also provide a cogent crash course in ancient, classical and modern history - Los Angeles Times on 'A History of the World in Six Glasses'
An extraordinary and well-told story on a much neglected dimension of history - Financial Times on 'An Edible History of Humanity'
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.
About the Author
Tom Standage is deputy editor of the Economist and the author of six previous history books, including Writing on the Wall, the New York Times bestsellers A History of the World in 6 Glasses and An Edible History of Humanity, and The Victorian Internet, a history of the telegraph. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, Wired, and other publications. Standage holds a degree in engineering and computer science from Oxford University. He lives in London. @TomStandage