In his original and exciting book, One Less Car, Zack Furness examines what it means historically, culturally, socioeconomically, and politically to be a bicycle transportation advocate/activist.
About the Author
Zack Furness is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at Columbia College Chicago and a member of the Bad Subjects collective.
Table of Contents
1 Introductions and Intersections 1
2 Becoming Auto-Mobile 14
3 Vélorutionaries and the Right to the (Bikeable) City 47
4 Critical Mass and the Functions of Bicycle Protest 78
5 Two-Wheeled Terrors and Forty-Year-Old Virgins: Mass Media and the Representation of Bicycling 108
6 DIY Bike Culture 140
7 Handouts, Hand Ups, or Just Lending a Hand? Community Bike Projects, Bicycle Aid, and Competing Visions of Development under Globalization 170
8 Conclusion, or "We Have Nothing to Lose but Our (Bike) Chains" 203
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
While I'm not a bike commuter or one of those guys who has a helmet strapped to his bag at all times, I'm a fan of bicycles and a bit jaded on American car culture (I grew up in the Midwest). I saw the author speak at the Radical Bookfair in Baltimore this fall and I eventually decided to pick up One Less Car. Overall, I think the book is an interesting take on biking that introduced me to some new ideas about the relationships between transportation, politics and culture. Some of the content won't be entirely groundbreaking for folks who have read about suburban sprawl, car culture, etc. but there's also lots of material that I haven't run across in other books about bicycling (though I'm halfway through Jeff Mapes' book and really liking it). For example, there are chapters on media representations of bicyclists, bike subcultures, and even stuff on aid programs and economic development in Africa and Central America. In several places the phrasing could sound less 'academic' and still get the point across, but it's book by a professor and that sort of thing comes with the territory, I guess. It's a reasonable trade-off for the content and the research, but it might bug folks who don't typically read books on university presses. I really liked the introduction and conclusion, but Chapters 5 and 6 were my favorites. Chapter 4 (on Critical Mass) was my least favorite only because I'm sick of hearing about the rides. My only real complaint is that I wish there were more pictures and illustrations to capture some of the events, bikes and people discussed in the book. I'm a bit biased since I'm a photographer, but a few more visuals still would have been nice.