An Alternative History of Bicycles and Motorcycles: Two-Wheeled Transportation and Material Culture (Hardback)
  • An Alternative History of Bicycles and Motorcycles: Two-Wheeled Transportation and Material Culture (Hardback)
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An Alternative History of Bicycles and Motorcycles: Two-Wheeled Transportation and Material Culture (Hardback)

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£54.95
Hardback 200 Pages / Published: 06/04/2016
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This book offers an account of two-wheeled vehicle development that challenges the common evolutionary model of development from the bicycle to the motorcycle. It examines the bicycle and motorcycle as material objects and focuses on the complex socio-political and economic convergences that produced the materials, which in turn shaped the vehicles' appearance, function, and adoption by riders.

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9781498528795
Number of pages: 200
Weight: 422 g
Dimensions: 239 x 158 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This work refutes the conventional story of a linear evolution from the early bicycle powered by human exertion to the first motorcycle that resulted from someone's bright idea to mount an internal combustion engine in a two-wheeled frame. The real story is far more complicated. For the first time, the material side of the story-not just design and technology, but macadam and asphalt, rubber and cotton, and denim and leather-receives the attention it deserves. This book is must reading not only for anyone interested in the history of transportation, in social history, and in popular culture, but also for every bicycle and motorcycle rider who doesn't spend every minute of his or her time with hands on the grips and eyes on the road. -- James J. Ward, Cedar Crest College
In An Alternative History of Bicycles and Motorcycles, Suzanne Ferriss and Steven E. Alford convincingly lay to rest the idea that there was a simple evolution between the bike's and the motorcycle's design and development. By meticulously exploring the materials and roads that shaped their production, along with the riders who were attracted to two-wheeled transportation, they not only uncover the social, cultural and political contingencies that shaped these technologies but also highlight a number of contemporary examples about design and function to understand advances in technology and their limits. A wide range of scholars will find their book useful and insightful, as well as anyone interested in bikes, motorcycles, and the larger and complex ways in which they shaped one another and our ideas about mobility, style, and freedom. -- Randy McBee, Texas Tech University
You ride, but have you thought about the origins of rubber and steel? About the link between Roman roads and U. S. interstates? About why your great-grandparents thought the bicycle seat would lead to nymphomania? Ferris and Alford are engaging guides to the materiality of two-wheeled culture. Fascinating, and indispensable for the enthusiast. -- Ted Bishop, University of Alberta

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