• A Brief History of Motion

  • From the Wheel, to the Car, to What Comes Next
  • By: Tom Standage
  • Narrated by: Liam Gerrard
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (40 ratings)

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A Brief History of Motion  By  cover art

A Brief History of Motion

By: Tom Standage
Narrated by: Liam Gerrard
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Publisher's Summary

Tom Standage's fleet-footed and surprising global histories have delighted fans and sold hundreds of thousands of copies. Now, he returns with a provocative account of an overlooked form of technology - personal transportation - and explores how it has shaped societies and cultures over millennia.

Beginning around 3,500 BCE with the wheel - a device that didn't catch on until a couple thousand years after its invention - Standage zips through the eras of horsepower, trains, and bicycles, revealing how each successive mode of transit embedded itself in the world we live in, from the geography of our cities to our experience of time to our notions of gender. Standage explores the social resistance to cars and the upheaval that their widespread adoption required. Cars changed how the world was administered, laid out, and policed, how it looked, sounded, and smelled - and not always in the ways we might have preferred.

Today - after the explosive growth of ride-sharing and years of breathless predictions about autonomous vehicles - the social transformations spurred by coronavirus and overshadowed by climate change create a unique opportunity to critically reexamine our relationship to the car. With A Brief History of Motion, Standage overturns myths and invites us to look at our past with fresh eyes so we can create the future we want to see.

©2021 Tom Standage (P)2021 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about A Brief History of Motion

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Great listen

This was a very good presentation. The time went by quickly. The information presented was always interesting and informative. The narrator was fun to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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An expansive historical perspective

What I thought was particularly notable, aside from the completeness of the main subject, was the exploration of connections to other aspects of society, culture, and economics that are not immediately apparent from an exploration of the main subject. Thought provoking and insightful, a worthwhile read.

1 person found this helpful

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Its mostly about cars

The title hints that this will be about “Motion” in general but its 20% about the historical progression to the automobile and then the rest of it is about cars and their consequences.

This is great if you want hear a lot about cars but there were other forms of transport to explore like trains, shops, segways, etc.

I enjoyed the book nevertheless but it was not what I expected.

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Great content

The content is terrific but alas the diction is monotonous. Will have to follow up with the physical book.

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  • Fred
  • 09-23-22

Disappointing book for such a topic

A fascinating subject was given a dry and uninterested treatment in this book. At times, I was tempted to abandon. Any recommendations for books on this subject?