The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Garbology explores the hidden and costly wonders of our buy-it-now, get-it-today world of transportation, revealing the surprising truths, mounting challenges, and logistical magic behind every trip we take and every click we make.
Transportation dominates our daily existence. Thousands, even millions of miles are embedded in everything we do and touch. We live in a door-to-door universe that works so well, most Americans are scarcely aware of it.
The grand ballet in which we move ourselves and our stuff is equivalent to building the Great Pyramid, the Hoover Dam, and the Empire State Building all in a day. Every day. And yet, in the one highly visible part of the transportation world - the part we drive - we suffer grinding commutes, a violent death every 15 minutes, a dire injury every 12 seconds, and crumbling infrastructure.
Now, the way we move ourselves and our stuff is on the brink of great change, as a new mobility revolution upends the car culture that, for better and worse, built modern America. This unfolding revolution will disrupt lives and global trade, transforming our commutes, our vehicles, our cities, our jobs, and every aspect of culture, commerce, and the environment. We are, quite literally, at a fork in the road, though whether it will lead us to Carmageddon or Carmaheaven has yet to be determined.
Using interviews, data, and deep exploration of the hidden world of ports, traffic control centers, and the research labs defining our transportation future, acclaimed journalist Edward Humes breaks down the complex movements of humans, goods, and machines as never before, from increasingly car-less citizens to the distance UPS goes to deliver a leopard-printed phone case. Tracking one day in the life of his family in Southern California, Humes uses their commutes, traffic jams, grocery stops, and online shopping excursions as a springboard to explore the paradoxes and challenges inherent in our system. He ultimately makes clear that transportation is one of the few big things we can change - our personal choices do have a profound impact, and that fork in the road is coming up fast.
Door to Door is a fascinating detective story, investigating the worldwide cast of supporting characters and technologies that have enabled us to move from here to there - past, present, and future.
©2016 Edward Humes (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
Interesting book with an decent thesis. While I would submit that the author's theses is more right than wrong, there are some significant flaws, including:
*It might work on the coasts well, the logistics in the center of the country are very different.
*It seems he failed to consider the empty miles needed to shift driverless cars to new locations.
*There is still a rush hour problem in terms of traffic and having enough to vehicles for peak hours... But parking them at other times.
That said, he made me think and I get the general idea.
Great survey of how stuff gets from there to here. Covers everything from bikes to electronics to agriculture to people. Some good ink on self driving cars too.
this is a beautifully detailed examination of our current situation given in an interesting and engaging manner. but it's both sad and frustrating to see how the solutions have been ready for decades but remain stifled by the lack of political will and personal inertia that the modern American possesses.
I definitely recommend this title to friends because of the richness in technical transportation information. Humes provides a great deal of perspective and history in all the subjects he covers. This does get a little preachy at times and doesn't really offer realistic solutions short of "tear it all down and start over."
I imagine he adds a little interest in areas of the book that might get bogged down in figures and statistics.
A great book that i keep talking about with friends. Our conversations typically pick up where the book left off; figuring out real solutions that we can get involved in for the not-so-ideal situations the author brings up.
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