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One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility (Sporting (Temple University Press)) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Zack Furness
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Kurzbeschreibung

28. März 2010 Sporting (Temple University Press)
Although millions of people in the United States love to ride bicycles for exercise or leisure, statistics show that only 1 per cent of the total U.S. population ride bicycles for transportation - and barely half as many use bikes to commute to work. 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. Presenting an underground subculture of bike enthusiasts who aggressively resist car culture, Furness maps out the cultural trajectories between mobility, technology, urban space and everyday life. He connects bicycling to radical politics, public demonstrations, alternative media production (e.g., 'zines), as well as to the development of community programs throughout the world. "One Less Car" also positions the bicycle as an object with which to analyze and critique some of the dominant cultural and political formations in the U.S. - and even breaks down barriers of race, class and gender privilege that are interconnected to mobility. For Furness, bicycles not only liberate people from technology, they also support social and environmental justice. So, he asks, why aren't more Americans adopting them for their transportation needs?

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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 348 Seiten
  • Verlag: Temple Univ Pr (28. März 2010)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1592136133
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592136131
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,6 x 15,2 x 2,5 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 500.151 in Englische Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Englische Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"Furness has produced a remarkable book. It is at once a history of bicycling in (mostly) the US; a cultural analysis of the bicycle, the car, and auto-mobility; and a solid piece of advocacy for bicycle-friendly policies. This solidly researched book covers a remarkable amount of territory... [It] began as a PhD thesis, but reads like a bestseller. Even, perhaps especially, the endnotes are interesting. Summing Up: Highly Recommended." - Choice "[A] lively and accessible glimpse into an important and oft-overlooked piece of the transportation topography. [Furness] puts forward an intelligent (and clearly impassioned) picture of a safer, saner, and sounder approach to mobility in the form of the bicycle, arguing that its more widespread use is a key element in moving us forward sustainably...[T]his book brings our attention to an understudied and significant arena in the understanding of mobility and its possible futures. The copious and detailed (and fascinating) endnotes make it clear that this is a well researched work. Furness manages to pull in many weighty issues and handle them with respect, nuance, and gravity, while retaining an optimism uncharacteristic of similar sociological critiques of capitalism. His hope for the potential of bike culture to help us street clear of disaster is just one of the many reasons that this is a valuable and delightful read." - Contemporary Sociology "[I]mpressive in its scope and detail... One Less Car offer[s] insights into an aspect of U.S. Cycling that, until recently, has been overlooked." Transfers: Journal of Interdisciplinary Mobility Studies, Spring 2011 "One Less Car, a celebration of bike culture, describes what can be achieved by rethinking the process of getting around... One Less Car is filled with thought-provoking ideas that will cause all readers to question the value of the automobile as a means of transport, but Furness provides no final solutions. Implicit throughout is the idea that fewer cars and more bicycles would make the world a better place." Transport Reviews, Vol. 32, No. 3, 2012 "Furness offers a firm and thoroughgoing political critique of assumptions and practices inherent in much cycling work that is often missing from other analyses... Another welcome aspect of One Less Car is Furness' insightful picking apart of differences in perspective within the cycling world where one might have assumed coherence. His critiques of advocates who dismiss the needs and experiences of less-experienced bicycle users, and of international development programs that reinforce existing inequalities...are well-argued but pull no punches...[I]t is refreshing to be able to read an account where the author's viewpoint has not been watered down by false attempts to appear 'balanced.' One of the most novel aspects of One Less Car...is the parallel Furness draws between DIY bike culture and DIY punk music culture. " Technology and Culture, April 2012

Über das Produkt

Although millions of people in the United States love to ride bicycles for exercise or leisure, statistics show that only 1% of the total U.S. population ride bicycles for transportation—and barely half as many use bikes to commute to work.  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.

 

Presenting an underground subculture of bike enthusiasts who aggressively resist car culture, Furness maps out the cultural trajectories between mobility, technology, urban space and everyday life. He connects bicycling to radical politics, public demonstrations, alternative media production (e.g., ‘zines), as well as to the development of community programs throughout the world.

 

One Less Car also positions the bicycle as an object with which to analyze and critique some of the dominant cultural and political formations in the U.S.—and even breaks down barriers of race, class and gender privilege that are interconnected to mobility. For Furness, bicycles not only liberate people from technology, they also support social and environmental justice. So, he asks, Why aren’t more Americans adopting them for their transportation needs?


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5.0 von 5 Sternen Wunderbar politisch!! 8. Februar 2013
Format:Taschenbuch|Von Amazon bestätigter Kauf
Endlich ein politisches Buch zum Fahrradfahren, das sich nicht nur mit technischen Gegebenheiten oder Straßendesign befasst. Lesenswert, aber gutes Englisch erforderlich.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 von 5 Sternen  8 Rezensionen
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Outstanding!! 13. März 2011
Von Michael Ross - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
This is an outstanding treatment of bicycles and their relationship to larger quality of life issues in the USA. The key idea s that of "automobility." The book is a powerful and tractable exposition, the only treatment of I know of that is not undertheorized with respect to its subject matter! (And I've read them all...)

His treatment is sociological and normative, not just descriptive and historical (assuming the latter is possible.) Apparently, this is confusing to folks. Building a solid case on a sandy foundation is always going to upset those, who, regardless of disciplinary pedigree, are only satisfied with unassailable assessments...but such is life.

Furness focuses on the *relationships* between bicycles, transportation, the built environment and the larger consumer culture (with its dominant "rugged individualist" psychology and economic "market ideology). He examines the role of the bicycle, both the role it has played and could play, in enhancing (or detracting from) the quality of life emergent among those relationships. In so doing, Furness critically helps point the way forward for bicycle advocacy, from an historically informed perspective on "automobility."

Contrary to the other reviewers, this book is not the least bit ideological. The claims of bias seem confused, even if predictable. Furness does demand critical inquiry, where third-party evidence is what matters, not the parroting of the received wisdom from various "stakeholders" in and around bicycle and transportation circles; and he assumes that ecological concerns should be primary in *any* historical or normative account of *any* technology in 2011; and he assumes that any "black box" discussion of the bicycle - as if the bicycle is ipso facto, an unimpeachable, cosmic good - is a malignant form of ideology all its own. (Which is sure to anger orthodox bicycle advocacy organizations.) These are certainly his assumed departure points. But they are methodological. Such assumptions don't undermine his thesis and discussion about the *politics of automobility* - they ground it. Every critique assumes a departure point. At least Furness' is evidentially, normatively and historically grounded. I would challenge anyone to indicate otherwise...

Furness's book will likely anger traditional bicycle advocates, especially those inclined to classically liberal political perspectives: again, his is not a reductionist treatment that isolates the bicycle in a "black box" as an unequivocal good.

Those who are interested in the decline of the quality of life in the USA; social and mechanical technology; distributed theories of learning and cognition; embodied aesthetics; transportation; the built environment; and social movements, will be fascinated and rewarded by this book. It is excellent precisely because it does not offer definitive answers, much less decontextual, ahistorical ones. It is useful and excellent precisely because so much of it is arguable!
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen One More Person Th 13. Oktober 2010
Von John B Woods - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
I am neither an avid cycler nor a bike advocate, but this book changed my life. The arguments that Furness makes about automobility are far more important than any differences between those in the cycling community. Furness' history is both well-written and rather riveting. I had often wondered about the derivation of Jay-walking, for instance, and discovered it in a delightful anecdote in Furness' book. Furness' grasp of history and politics is what makes this book readable and interesting to me. I would not pick up a cycling manual if it simply detailed the history of the bicycle. It is precisely that Furness is able to link cycling to larger movements in culture and politics that makes the book so fascinating.(I was fascinated to learn about the White Bike movement in Amsterdam and the way it lead to cycle sharing programs such as ones in D.C.) The previous reviewer found Furness' discussions of Situationism tedious perhaps because of his own political bias. Having read the book, I found his review unfounded and unflattering to its (the review's) author.

It is rare to find a book that will engage with the philosophical meaning of anything-- much less transportation. Furness' point that the cycle is the true 'auto-mobile' is well-taken in an age when we can't avoid how many other aspects are required to make an automobile move. As it turned out, my car was totaled as I was reading this book. I still do not own a bike, but decided-- only partly on the basis of the book, of course-- to do without a car.

If you are a cyclist, you'll find much to inspire you. Even if you aren't, you'll find a great deal to reflect upon about the meaning and culture of transportation in America. And if you are open to it, One Less Car, might change your life as well. It was a happy accident that One Less Car led, in my case, to literally One Less Car, but it also lead to one more person thinking critically-- and ejoyably-- about transportation.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen An essential work 15. März 2011
Von Lars Christiansen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
Zack Furness's One Less Car is a major contribution to understanding the cultural development and meanings of bicycles and bicycling, and the creation, practice, and consequences of auto-mobility. It is among the very best works on transportation, culture, and social movements, each as expressed through bicycling. Furness's work is one of several recent that demonstrates the maturation of theorizing transportation. He situates bicycles and bicycling in active and changing contexts, demonstrating the fluidity of the meanings associated with bicycling, never seeking to stabilize or fix essential meanings to the bicycle. Yet Furness commits to a normative project as well, which will leave positivist-inclined academics and the general population of philosophical realists bristling.

The sheer scope of Furness's work is remarkable, while he keeps the entire work readable with thought provoking insights chapter to chapter. Each chapter stands on its own, and yet helps complete a larger image of how bicycling has achieved its status and meaning in U.S. culture today. Although the entire book is excellent, I particularly enjoyed Chapter 4 on Critical Mass and Chapter 5 on media and other representations of bicyclists. His chapter on critical mass is the very best discussion I've read, capturing the multifaceted, changing and contingent meanings of those events. He puts to shame the monolithic liberal and conservative misunderstandings and misreading of critical mass (CM) rides, and I hope that contemporary bicycle advocates - heck, all bicycle riders - read this chapter so that they better appreciate the impact of CMs on bicycling politics. Indeed, I have heard many bicycle advocates in the Twin Cities, as well as regular "avid bicyclists," dismiss and denigrate CM without realizing the debts they owe to those rides. And if one wants to better understand why bicyclists have been and are loved, revered, celebrated, despised, hated, deemed immature, healthy, patriotic, a menace, and elitist, then chapter 5 will give you answers.

Furness' treatment of every topic he handles is extraordinarily well-researched, drawing on multitudes of texts from vastly different kinds of sources including philosophy, history, cultural studies, social theory, sociology, science and technology studies, literature, popular culture, trade magazines, and advertising.

Having read the other reviews here, I have to comment on my surprise about the two negative reviews. It appears that the main thrust of one critic focuses on the eight pages devoted to the Vehicular Cycling (VC) movement, at which Furness levels a serious critique. Yet, like every other discussion in this book, I contend that Furness treats VC in a nuanced manner, including giving it its (limited) due credit. The other negative review wrongly dismisses Furness as an ideologue, missing the difference between advancing a normative project and committing to ideological dogma. Yes Furness takes seriously the situationist meanings of various facets of bicycling-as-protest, but he does so because that is a convincing framework to explain such protests. And this is not his only lens; many frameworks buttress Furness's analyses.

Furness's book is an excellent companion to Peter Norton's Fighting Traffic and Cotten Seiler's Republic of Drivers, as these three works represent the latest thinking on theories of transportation politics.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Thank you for discussing bicycling within the framework it deserves. 7. Dezember 2012
Von M. Vanveenendaal - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
To understand this competition for the space of the roads I would like to introduce the ideas of Zachary Furness author of the book, "One Less Car", the book is an extended analysis of bicycling from an Anthropological and Sociological perspective. The main thesis of Professor Furness is the idea of "Automobility", a state of mind held by most Americans and deeply ingrained in our political and economic history. The author explains the conflict between motorists and cyclists as analogous to the ideology of nationalism," the republic of drivers similarly requires a set of others from which its citizens can assert their ever modern values of high speed, personal independence, and hyper-privatized mobility"(p.9). Bicyclists as a tiny minority to car drivers represent the idea of the other or outsider necessary for an effective conflict theory. The idea is that the culture of driving and all of the material and space associated with it is dominated by cars, therefore biking represents a competing ideology outside of the accepted Automobilised norms making it marginalized socially and instituitonally. Bicycling represents a threat to the ideology of Automobility because it offers an alternative and competing way to practice and think about how we get from point A to point B.
[...]
4.0 von 5 Sternen Worth reading, critically. 4. Dezember 2012
Von Benn Pamphleteer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
In the Acknowledgements, the author explains how this book came to be; as an outgrowth of his doctoral dissertation, I would guess in contemporary culture, media, or some similar modern area of study. No one would have much doubt after slogging through the introduction, with it's post-modernist, deconstructionist attempt to show that everything is connected to everything else, and the author wants you to know he sees that.
However, once you get past the introduction, this book settles down to an exhaustive and thought-provoking exposition of the bicycle in our car culture. It is well documented, thorough and insightful as the author examines the many cultural idiosyncrasies that make up the original and contemporary history of the bicycle. It is testimony to the power of the most energy-efficient mode of transportation on the planet that it has stimulated such varied, and often bizarre, idolatry across the spectrum of class and culture.
However, therein lies the problem I have that keeps me from endorsing this book unreservedly. The focus seems to be on the quirky, subcultural radical fringe - critical mass, the provo in the netherlands, the stunningly perceptive but finally overwrought and dismissive critique of vehicular cycling (note: I'm a vehicular cycling instructor), the absolutely bizarre messenger bike/ fixie culture. I don't mind the anti-capitalist, subversive tone - we can use more of that in current critical thought - but if you want to convince Americans to abandon their cars for bicycles, you might do well to talk about what utilitiarian cycling really looks like in the places where it's practiced, such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen and, increasingly, Portland and Boulder. Compared to careening fixie riders and artisans creating impractical bicycles as contemporary artifacts, cargo bikes and people riding at 8 miles per hour while obeying traffic laws is pretty mundane stuff. However, where bikes are really used in preference to cars, that's what it looks like.
This is a great book with the most comprehensive notes and references I've ever seen in any bicycle book other than the engineering texts. Something in it will make you mad, and that won't be the only worthwhile part of reading it.
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