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Rush Hour: How 500 Million Commuters Survive the Daily Journey to Work [Kindle Edition]

Iain Gately
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Each working day 500 million people across the planet experience the miracle and misery of commuting. Whether undertaken by car, bus, train or bicycle, the practice shapes our days and creates a time and a space for a surprisingly diverse range of activities.

In RUSH HOUR, Iain Gately traces the past, present and future of commuting, from the age of Dickens to the potential of the driverless car. He examines the contrasting experiences of commuters in Britain and elsewhere in the world: from the crush-loaded salarymen of the Tokyo metro to the road-rage afflicted middle managers of America.

Notwithstanding its occasional traumas, commuting emerges as a positive aspect of modern life. It has dictated the growth of cities; been proving ground for new technologies; and given countless people freedom of movement and the opportunity to improve their lives.

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Product Description


'Colourful, engaging and hugely enjoyable' The Sunday Times.

'An entertaining social history of life in the rush hour' Independent.

'I loved this book's generosity and curiosity about daily life and the people stuck in it. Anyone who commutes would find their journey to work enlivened and enlightened by it' Joe Moran, Guardian (Book of the Week).

'An entertaining study ... Rush Hour is never less than interesting, pacey and rattling with trivia' The Times.

'A lively history ... Gately has done commuters a real service: he can't make the journeys shorter, but he makes them more interesting' Mail on Sunday.

'Mr Gately is a good travelling companion - especially if you can find a seat' Economist.

'Having been a long-distance commuter, I enjoyed Gately's book, which includes little gems such as why the British have always been silent commuters. Counter-intuitively, he believes that commuting is a good thing. It signifies social progress, as people have used their freedom to travel to better themselves. Worth remembering as you sit fuming on the delayed 7.14am from Leeds to York' Times Higher Education.

About the Author

IAIN GATELY was born in 1963 and brought up in Hong Kong. He studied law at Cambridge before working in corporate finance. He is the author of several critically acclaimed books including THE ASSESSOR, DRINK, and LA DIVA NICOTINA.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1837 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (6 Nov. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #188,179 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Rush Hour begins with the author shivering on a station platform in rural Hampshire, waiting for an early morning train to London (where he finds his daily commute an interesting study in human behavior and surrealism), what follows is an in-depth and truly global history of Commuting.

A must read for all commuters and those interested in the social and historic use of the transport system. Ten out of ten.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Breakneck speed 16 Jun. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
RUSH HOUR is another addition to the towering heap of interdisciplinary “pop” non-fiction, that includes such unlikely bundles of knowledge as cod, guns, salt, germs and steel. Happily – joyously indeed – Gately’s book is very near the top of the heap.

Gately takes us on a journey to work that begins even before the golden age of steam when commuting was unheard of, until it became a commonplace for… almost everyone. He examines the challenges commuters face every day, how they overcome them, tries to decide whether they are wasting their time. He finished with a look at the future: Will the virtual telecommute transcend the “real” commute?

The basic concept is pretty contrived and disparate, but we have a great researcher and a brilliant writer to deal with. Rush is the word. The pace of the “narrative” is nothing like a slow grind along the Westway. The book moves at breakneck speed and, without any actual tension, it is riveting. I did, indeed, read it on the train: no joke. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

If the book as a fault is in its anglocentricity, with numerous forays across the pond but only the occasional tourist trip into the rest of the world, notably Asia rather than other parts of Europe. There is no doubt that this is a great read, but whether anyone in Helsinki or Ankara will be interested, I’m not sure. What I am sure is that is you are vaguely interested in social history, transport, futurology, town planning… blah blah blah… if you pick up RUSH HOUR, you won’t put it down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it very much 8 Feb. 2015
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A really interesting read about the evolution of travel, to the daily chore of modern day commuting. I enjoyed it very much.!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Rush hour 27 Feb. 2015
By jpm
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Easy to read summary of commuting around the world. Some ideas about future trends.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 23 May 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good read.
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