download pdf The Mechanical Horse: How the Bicycle Reshaped American Life (Audio Download): Margaret Guroff, Margaret Guroff, University Press Audiobooks: Audible AudiobooksAuthor Margaret Guroff –

With cities across the country adding miles of bike lanes and building bike share stations, bicycling is enjoying a new surge of popularity in America It seems that every generation or two, Americans rediscover the freedom of movement, convenience, and relative affordability of the bicycle The earliest two wheeler, the draisine, arrived in Philadelphia inand astonished onlookers with the possibility of propelling themselves like lightning Two centuries later, the bicycle is still the fastest way to cover ground on gridlocked city streets Filled with lively stories, The Mechanical Horse reveals how the bicycle transformed American life As bicycling caught on in the th century, many of the country s rough, rutted roads were paved for the first time, laying a foundation for the interstate highway system Cyclists were among the first to see the possibilities of self directed, long distance travel, and some of them including a fellow named Henry Ford went on to develop the automobile Women shed their cumbersome Victorian dresses as well as their restricted gender roles so they could ride And doctors recognized that aerobic exercise actually benefits the body, which helped to modernize medicine Margaret Guroff demonstrates that the bicycle s story is really the story of a mobile America one in which physical mobility has opened wider horizons of thought and new opportunities for people in all avenues of life The book is published by University of Texas Press

15 thoughts on “The Mechanical Horse: How the Bicycle Reshaped American Life (Audio Download): Margaret Guroff, Margaret Guroff, University Press Audiobooks: Audible Audiobooks

  1. David Flather David Flather says:

    Very interesting Many things I didn t know about bicycles Makes you look at bicycles in a different light A great read.

  2. Gilles Janson Gilles Janson says:

    J ai trouv ce livre particuli rement int ressant Et il tait dans une condition parfaite

  3. DcLonChi DcLonChi says:

    I suspect this will get marketed toward cyclists it was recommended to me by friends who know me as a MAMIL but I think its appeal is much broader This is a fun read, and particularly enlightening about turn of the last century America and americana.There s hundreds of these how one things explains a lot of other things titles floating around now I know because I have dozens in my house I m a sucker for these pop histories, going back to Cod, Salt, How the Irish Saved Civilization, etc., etc., etc In short, I think I m qualified to pass judgment on this book, both from a cyclist s perspective but importantly from a lay readers s perspective and I give this a very enthusiastic thumbs up The Mechanical Horse does a great job doing 2 things.First, Guroff does a great job exposing new or novel bits of history, the no way really kinds of moments that makes these types of book such fun reads I won t give spoilers, but I ll note that these are the kinds of historical notes that are so fun to read because they ve been hiding in plain sight for so many years if you had an old Italian hand me down 10 speed or you laughed at the old timey chaps on the big wheel little wheel bike, or you saw those old bikes on Antiques Roadshow, you ve got a familiarity with the subject But despite our familiarity, I ll wager very few of us have any idea of the contexts associated with any of the above, never mind the whole of the bike industry s 100 year history.Second, Guroff avoids overstretching the point There were some pretty broad societal trends that are touched on compellingly linked to the bicycle but not belabored I ve found the tendency in this genre to overstate the points or to keep searching for new points If anything, I think Guroff is a bit restrained in covering the current trend of cycling I ve heard contemporary cycling described as the new golf in which rich old guys spend a lot of time, money and travel expense on their new hobby , and I m curious how future generations will look back on us.The writing is crisp and clear throughout, the pacing and depth of the book perfectly suited to a rainy weekend In closing, I picked this up expecting genre history oh this was too long to go in the bike mag but was pleasantly surprised to find a great history read.

  4. WL WL says:

    The moment that you meet the author in the book s introduction, wheeling through Georgetown morning traffic with amused awareness of a hostile gray Porsche, you know you re in for a great ride through important highways and quirky byways of the history of the bicycle in the U.S From when Philadelphia swells who startled onlookers with their upscale push bikes draisines in 1819, through Victorian era warnings of imagined health and moral hazards for women out about on affordable pedal bikes, to the central role of bicycle technology in the Wright brothers invention of the airplane, to today s proliferation of bicycles on city streets, Ms Guroff tells a richly rewarding tale Not interested in bikes Think again this book is like an irresistible conversation with clear eyed, witty historian, whose depth and mastery of U.S social trends, technological developments and political influences converging on the bicycle are smoothly brought together in a book that the Wall Street Journal justifiably called fascinating.

  5. Achille Bedard Achille Bedard says:

    In clear and lively prose, Guroff charts the rise and fall and rise and fall and rise and fall, etc of the bicycle in America This boom and bust cycle pardon the expression is the through theme and perhaps the newest element to this slim but pleasing volume, which is a social history as much as a bike book Think women abandoning the corsets, the better to breathe as they enjoy the newfound, and scandalous , freedom of the bike Many of its bits the velocipede, the role of bicyclists in the development of paved roads, the invention of the MTB, have been told before, but rarely in once place Guroff zooms along like a Bianchi on a downhill stretch and she ll have you home before you break a sweat.

  6. L.A. Reader L.A. Reader says:

    What a fresh, entertaining lens through which to view American history Days later, I m still thinking about the passage recounting the creation of time zones The author s research is exhaustive but unobtrusive, thanks to an excellent notes system, and the prose strikes a great balance between authority and charm You don t even have to be a bike fanatic to get a lot out of it, but if you know people who are, I m thinking good gift.

  7. Paul Paul says:

    Of all the physical woes attributed to the bicycle as it became popularin the 1890 s, the one that most strained credulity was the bicycle face.Characterized by wide, wild eyes a grim set of the mouth and a migration of facial features toward the center, the disorder was saidto result from the stress of incessant balancing.A German philosopher claimed that the condition drained Every vestige of intelligencefrom the sufferer s appearance and rendered children unrecognizableto their own mothers The bicycle face hung on, too, warned a journalist Once fixed upon the countenance, it can never be removed Adapted from The Mechanical Horse How The Bicycle Reshaped American Lifeby Margaret Guroff.

  8. C E Voigtsberger Jr C E Voigtsberger Jr says:

    A really interesting book about bicycling As a bicyclist myself, I thought I knew a lot about the history of bicycling in the U.S., but this book taught me a lot The only critical comment I have is that it sort of is like a thesis I don t recall the exact percentage, but almost half the book is bibliography with citied references The actual text, unless one is going to involve oneself with research, is half the indicated length of the book.

  9. JBR JBR says:

    I heard this book reviewed on C Span 2, Book Span on the weekends Purchased two of them for gifts and the recipients WHO HAD JUST COMPLETED A COAST TO COAST BICYCLE TRIP San Diego, California to St Augustine, Florida, I think were very happy with them From what I remember of the reviewsthis book details the discoveries and inventions that followed using the mechanics and theories from bicycles.

  10. Abigail's Daughter Abigail's Daughter says:

    The bicycle reshaped America s roadways and women s clothing, and led the way to the manufacture of the automobile Fascinating for bicycle riders and students of American history.

  11. David C. David C. says:

    Good Book

  12. crjdoc crjdoc says:

    Informative, articulate, and chock full of facts about the bicycle s impact on our world Impeccably researched and written in an easy to read style, Guroff s book is a must read for the cycling aficionado, or any student of history I highly recommend this book

  13. KC Mike KC Mike says:

    Who knew that the bike was so influential in women s clothing styles and rights I have recommended it to several people in my bike club.

  14. Leek Leek says:

    Gift for friend He loved it.

  15. pedalpower pedalpower says:

    Excellent history of the bicycle in the US It is easy reading and flows smoothly from one topic to the next.