2012 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction Finalist
Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile
Straphanger is a remarkable tour by bus, subway, and streetcar through some of the world’s most fascinating metropolises. Equal parts travel narrative, social history, and critique of urban planning, Grescoe’s writing unfolds with compelling subtlety. Straphanger takes the reader through clogged expressways and streamlined undergrounds, in sum a finely researched and nuanced argument in favour of high-quality public transit. In this book, the daily commute is not merely an unavoidable suburban phenomenon but a human experience in which transit is a key piece, utterly important to livable neighbourhoods in a post-automobile age.
About the Book
The perception of public transportation in North America is often unflattering. A century of auto-centric culture and city planning has left most of the continent with systems that are underfunded, ill maintained, and ill conceived. But as the demand for oil outpaces the world’s supply, a revolution in transportation is under way. Taras Grescoe explores the ascendance of straphangers – the growing number of people who rely on public transportation. On a whistle-stop tour of world cities– from New York to Moscow, Paris, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Bogotá, Phoenix, Portland, Vancouver, Toronto, and Philadelphia – he highlights the people and ideas that are creating convenient, affordable, and sustainable urban transportation for all.
About the Author
Taras Grescoe was born in Toronto and currently lives in Montreal. Four of his five nonfiction titles have been nominated for earlier incarnations of this prize, including Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood, which won the award in 2008. His work has appeared in a variety of major publications, including The New York Times and National Geographic Traveler.
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