Bicycle: The History (Paperback)
  • Bicycle: The History (Paperback)
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Bicycle: The History (Paperback)

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£27.50
Paperback 480 Pages
Published: 29/09/2006
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The first comprehensive history of the bicycle—lavishly illustrated with images spanning two centuries

During the nineteenth century, the bicycle evoked an exciting new world in which even a poor person could travel afar and at will. But was the “mechanical horse” truly destined to usher in a new era of road travel or would it remain merely a plaything for dandies and schoolboys? In Bicycle: The History (named by Outside magazine as the #1 book on bicycles), David Herlihy recounts the saga of this far-reaching invention and the passions it aroused. The pioneer racer James Moore insisted the bicycle would become “as common as umbrellas.” Mark Twain was more skeptical, enjoining his readers to “get a bicycle. You will not regret it—if you live.”

Because we live in an age of cross-country bicycle racing and high-tech mountain bikes, we may overlook the decades of development and ingenuity that transformed the basic concept of human-powered transportation into a marvel of engineering. This lively and engrossing history retraces the extraordinary story of the bicycle—a history of disputed patents, brilliant inventions, and missed opportunities. Herlihy shows us why the bicycle captured the public’s imagination and the myriad ways in which it reshaped our world.

Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300120479
Number of pages: 480
Weight: 1089 g
Dimensions: 254 x 178 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Profusely and charmingly illustrated."—Richard Eder, Boston Sunday Globe"[A] wonderful new book. . . . Herlihy combines the thoroughness of a scholar with the dogged investigative skills of a newspaper reporter and presents his finding with a literary flair not normally found in authors who possess thoroughness or doggedness. The result is a fine read sure to be of great interest, if not to 87 million once-a-year riders, then certainly to the 8 million core cyclists."—Stephen Madden, New York Post"A fascinating historical account of the bicycle, from its conception in the 19th century to the present day, lavishly illustrated, too."—Sara Nelson, New York Post (Required Reading)"A prodigious researcher vividly recounts the development of a great machine that wasn’t fully practical till the 1870’s."—The New York Times Book Review"Immensely absorbing. . . . Herlihy’s prodigious research is always entertaining, as are the period illustrations that copiously grace the volume. . . . While reading Bicycle, I was all too often overcome with the desire to jump on my own machine. I would relish having David V. Herlihy as my cycling companion any day."—Edward Koren, New York Times Book Review"This is a book that ought to fascinate any reader who cares about well-researched, well-written, beautifully illustrated history. . . . Yet to call the book a traditional history is misleading. Herlihy uses brief boxed asides, artwork, photographs, cartoons, technical drawings and other tools to dazzle. . . . Bicycle . . . is compulsively readable."—Steve Weinberg, San Francisco Chronicle"Herlihy’s book gives a history of the bicycle from its painful beginnings right through to the amazingly technical machines available now."—Toby Clements, The Telegraph"A definitive look at the bicycle."—Craig Wilson, USA Today"Mr. Herlihy concentrates on [the bicycle’s] social history, especially its manufacturers and riders. Culling from the popular press, he builds a very readable account of the public perception of the bicycle as it moved from one stage to another. The book is also one of the best-illustrated histories I have ever seen. It is a delight to leaf through."—Robert Messenger, Wall Street Journal"The reader is taken on a joy ride of stories, fact and anecdotes. . . . Herlihy deserves praise for his exhaustive research. . . . I’m glad he invited us along for the ride."—Colman McCarthy, Washington Post & Chicago Sun Times"This extraordinarily researched work is not just for those interested in the history of the bicycle but for anyone who wants to follow the international history of an idea or invention. . . . Dozens of attractive images enrich the story and could be issued as a worthwhile book of their own. Highly recommended for all academic collections."—Library Journal"A comprehensive genealogy of the two-wheeled savior of mass transit. . . . The author’s vivid account of this story could not be more detailed if Herlihy himself had personally lived through every experience he recounts. . . . Herlihy takes what could have been just another history book and makes it a story worth telling your friends about."—Publishers Weekly"An instant classic."—Simon Withers, Cycling Plus"A fascinating history of an engineering marvel."—Forecast"Bicycle is the preeminent research document concerning the invention and early development of the bicycle, but most interesting is its analysis of the bicycle’s role within societal development."—Velo News"This is an excellent history… It is definitely a book for the cyclists in the family and even if you haven’t ridden a bike for years the author’s enthusiasm might even tempt you on two wheels."—Model EngineerWinner of the 2004 Award for Excellence in the History of Science sponsored by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American PublishersWinner of the 2005 Sally Hacker Prize sponsored by the Society for the History of Technology"If you could only own one book on bicycle history, Bicycle is it. David's account is not only thorough and accurate, but offers a great read to both the aficionado and those new to the bicycle world. A great addition to anyone's library."—Jill DiMauro, Owner Proteus Bicycles, "Bicycles through the Ages" hands on mobile bicycle exhibit "The bicycle's history is rife with confusion and myth, so it's wonderful to have David Herlihy's thoroughly researched and delightfully written account to set the record of this remarkable and important invention straight."—Jim Langley, Cycling Writer"David Herlihy is a widely recognized expert on the history of the bicycle, and this book offers the most comprehensive account to date of the bicycle and its development from a novelty for the elite to transportation for the masses. Frequently wry and always intelligent, Herlihy takes us on a marvelous tour of the bicycle's fascinating history."—Peter Joffre Nye, U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame and co-author of The Lance Armstrong Performance Program"Bicycle is a fascinating book. David Herlihy is a true historian, and he has uncovered a stunning amount of new material about the history of the bicycle—at times it reads like a detective story."—David Gordon Wilson, professor, MIT and co-author, Bicycling Science, and Human-Powered Vehicles

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