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Publisher's Summary

Drawing together many histories - of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores - Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction - from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja - finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.

©2000 Rebecca Solnit (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Must read for all interested in human condition

I cannot say enough good things about this book. I took 2 years to devour it slowly, chapter by chapter & it is a constant reference. A cross-section of art, history, nature, politics via the idea of walking.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Exhaustive treatment of walking with an agenda

I walk. So this tome really does explore walking in almost too precise detail. Way too much detail. But if you are walking and listening it is almost symbiotic. Now the endless literal references are interesting but a bit too much. The treatment of walking or rather protest walking as a vehicle for the hidden agenda of the book which is to detail walking as a form of protest. It left me a bit off... I read the entire book. It was not that bad. But I waste time as a profession. "Retired"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I fell in love again with walking

I’m now a big fan of Solnit. She goes through much of the social history of walking, the political power of pedestrians, and even touches on the evolutionary history of walking upright. If you ever needed some motivation to walk in the countryside, hike through your city’s streets, or even ditch the internal combustion, this is a great place to go.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Walking as politics

This is not the book I was expecting. If you want a feminist from SF to explain how walking relates to protest marches, women's suffrage , and gay rights, this is the book for you. If you want to read about walking while traveling or walking tours, skip it.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not so much a history of walking . . .

as an evaluation of walking controlled by a political viewpoint so narrow and persuaded of its own righteousness that it interferes with enjoyment of anyone but a deeply committed fellow traveler. I was underwhelmed.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Rebecca Solnit Tells Us Things

She used all her note cards but point of view more snobby than scholarly. Narrator may have aggravated the superior tone of the writing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful