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Straphanger

Cover of Straphanger

Straphanger

Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile
Borrow Borrow

Taras Grescoe has written books that have changed the way we look at illicit substances, in The Devil's Picnic, and how we think about the world's seafood, in Bottomfeeder. In Straphanger, Grescoe hits the commuter road in a global quest to understand and illuminate the challenges of the post-automobile age.

Straphanger is not just another attack on automobiles and suburban sprawl but the most entertaining and most thorough examination of global car culture yet written, and an empowering tool kit for anybody looking for alternatives to a car-based lifestyle. Ultimately, its subject is the city, and it offers a global tour of alternatives to car-based living told through encounters with bicycle commuters, subway engineers, professional boulevardiers, idealistic mayors and disillusioned trolley campaigners. Along the way, Grescoe meets libertarian apologists for the automobile, urban planners who defend sprawl, champions of hydrogen and biofuels, and traffic engineers fighting to reduce congestion.

In a world of skyrocketing gas prices and political unrest in the oil-rich corners of the world, Straphanger is an essential book that addresses one of the most critical discussions of the near future.

Taras Grescoe has written books that have changed the way we look at illicit substances, in The Devil's Picnic, and how we think about the world's seafood, in Bottomfeeder. In Straphanger, Grescoe hits the commuter road in a global quest to understand and illuminate the challenges of the post-automobile age.

Straphanger is not just another attack on automobiles and suburban sprawl but the most entertaining and most thorough examination of global car culture yet written, and an empowering tool kit for anybody looking for alternatives to a car-based lifestyle. Ultimately, its subject is the city, and it offers a global tour of alternatives to car-based living told through encounters with bicycle commuters, subway engineers, professional boulevardiers, idealistic mayors and disillusioned trolley campaigners. Along the way, Grescoe meets libertarian apologists for the automobile, urban planners who defend sprawl, champions of hydrogen and biofuels, and traffic engineers fighting to reduce congestion.

In a world of skyrocketing gas prices and political unrest in the oil-rich corners of the world, Straphanger is an essential book that addresses one of the most critical discussions of the near future.

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About the Author-
  • TARAS GRESCOE is the author of six books, including the bestselling Bottomfeeder, which won the Writers' Trust Prize for Non-Fiction, the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction and the International Association of Culinary Professionals' Award for Literary Food Writing, and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. His books Sacré Blues, The End of Elsewhere and Straphanger were also Writers' Trust Prize finalists. He lives in Montreal.Visit him online at www.tarasgrescoe.com or on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter @grescoe.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 12, 2011
    Getting there might be half the fun, but it’s also a point of serious consideration in the latest from journalist Grescoe (Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood). Chronicling his voyage around the world to research different transit systems, Grescoe covers cities from Paris to Portland, Ore., examining the ways our means of transport affects how we function as a community. His exploration of the different aspects of train travel abroad—as compared to the U.S.—suggests how transportation tension can be quelled through better service. His illustrations of the benefits of bike travel in Copenhagen and Montreal show how bike riding merges health and environmental perks with emotional benefits. The crucial point is enunciated by a University of Tokyo professor of urban transport: “The kind of lifestyle you want to have in the future depends on your values, your way, your decisions; whether you are willing to pay more money to support public transport.” While the book raises intriguing points about public transportation reform, it proves one-sided in its argument, and a contrary reader can’t help pondering the difficulty of implementing automobile alternatives on a large scale. However, Grescoe presents a strong and timely argument for moving metropolitan motorists away from their cars. Agent: Michelle Tessler, Tessler Literary Agency.

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    HarperCollins Canada
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Straphanger
Straphanger
Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile
Taras Grescoe
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