By Subject: Transport Studies
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Emergence and Persistence of the Car, 1895-1940
Our continued use of the combustion engine car in the 21st century, despite many rational arguments against it, makes it more and more difficult to imagine that transport has a sustainable future. Offering a sweeping transatlantic perspective, this book explains the current obsession with automobiles by delving deep into the motives of early car users. It provides a synthesis of our knowledge about the emergence and persistence of the car, using a broad range of material including novels, poems, films, and songs to unearth the desires that shaped our present “car society.” Combining social, psychological, and structural explanations, the author concludes that the ability of cars to convey transcendental experience, especially for men, explains our attachment to the vehicle.
Cycling and Recycling
Histories of Sustainable Practices
Oldenziel, R. & Trischler, H. (eds)
Technology has long been an essential consideration in public discussions of the environment, with the focus overwhelmingly on creating new tools and techniques. In more recent years, however, activists, researchers, and policymakers have increasingly turned to mobilizing older technologies in their pursuit of sustainability. In fascinating case studies ranging from the Early Modern secondhand trade to utopian visions of human-powered vehicles, the contributions gathered here explore the historical fortunes of two such technologies—bicycling and waste recycling—tracing their development over time and providing valuable context for the policy successes and failures of today.
The Devil's Wheels
Men and Motorcycling in the Weimar Republic
During the high days of modernization fever, among the many disorienting changes Germans experienced in the Weimar Republic was an unprecedented mingling of consumption and identity: increasingly, what one bought signaled who one was. Exemplary of this volatile dynamic was the era’s burgeoning motorcycle culture. With automobiles largely a luxury of the upper classes, motorcycles complexly symbolized masculinity and freedom, embodying a widespread desire to embrace progress as well as profound anxieties over the course of social transformation. Through its richly textured account of the motorcycle as both icon and commodity, The Devil’s Wheels teases out the intricacies of gender and class in the Weimar years.
The Landscape of the German Autobahn, 1930-1970
Published in Association with the German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C.
Hitler's autobahn was more than just the pet project of an infrastructure-friendly dictator. It was supposed to revolutionize the transportation sector in Germany, connect the metropoles with the countryside, and encourage motorization. The propaganda machinery of the Third Reich turned the autobahn into a hyped-up icon of the dictatorship. One of the claims was that the roads would reconcile nature and technology. Rather than destroying the environment, they would embellish the landscape. Many historians have taken this claim at face value and concluded that the Nazi regime harbored an inbred love of nature. In this book, the author argues that such conclusions are misleading. Based on rich archival research, the book provides the first scholarly account of the landscape of the autobahn.
Technology, Experts, Politics, and Fascist Motorways, 1922-1943
On March 26th, 1923, in a formal ceremony, construction of the Milan–Alpine Lakes autostrada officially began, the preliminary step toward what would become the first European motorway. That Benito Mussolini himself participated in the festivities indicates just how important the project was to Italian Fascism. Driving Modernity recounts the twisting fortunes of the autostrada, which—alongside railways, aviation, and other forms of mobility—Italian authorities hoped would spread an ideology of technological nationalism. It explains how Italy ultimately failed to realize its mammoth infrastructural vision, addressing the political and social conditions that made a coherent plan of development impossible.
The French Road Movie
Space, Mobility, Identity
The traditionally American genre of the road movie has been explored and reconfigured in the French context since the later 1960s. Comparative in its approach, this book studies the inter-relationship between American and French culture and cinemas, and in the process considers and challenges histories of the road movie. It combines film history with film theory methodologies, analysing transformations in social, political and film-industrial contexts alongside changing perspectives on the meaning and possibilities of film. At once chronological and thematic in structure, The French Road Movie provides in each chapter a comprehensive introduction to key themes emerging from the genre in the French context – liberty, identity and citizenship, masculinity, femininity, border-crossing – followed by detailed, innovative and often revisionist readings of the chosen films. Through these readings the author justifies the place of the road genre within French cinema histories and reinvigorates this often neglected and misunderstood area of study.
Subjects: Film and Television Studies Transport Studies
German Railroads, Jewish Souls
The Reichsbahn, Bureaucracy, and the Final Solution
Browning, C. R., Hayes, P. & Hilberg†, R.
Renowned Holocaust scholar Raul Hilberg considered the German railway system that delivered European Jews to ghettos and death camps in Eastern Europe to be not only an essential component of the “machinery of destruction” but also emblematic of the amoral bureaucracy that helped to implement the Jewish genocide. German Railroads, Jewish Souls centers around Hilberg’s seminal essay of the same name, a landmark study of German railways in the Nazi era long unavailable in English. Supplemented with additional writings from Hilberg, primary source materials, and historical commentary from leading scholars Christopher Browning and Peter Hayes, this is a rich and accessible introduction to a topic in Holocaust history that remains understudied even today.
Subjects: Jewish Studies Genocide History Transport Studies
Exuberance and the Emergence of Layered Mobility, 1900–1980
Why has “car society” proven so durable, even in the face of mounting environmental and economic crises? In this follow-up to his magisterial Atlantic Automobilism, Gijs Mom traces the global spread of the automobile in the postwar era and investigates why adopting more sustainable forms of mobility has proven so difficult. Drawing on archival research as well as wide-ranging forays into popular culture, Mom reveals here the roots of the exuberance, excess, and danger that define modern automotive culture.
The Great Train Race
Railways and the Franco-German Rivalry, 1815-1914
From their origins, railways produced an intense competition between the two major continental systems in France and Germany. Fitting a new technology into existing political institutions and social habits, these two nations became inexorably involved in industrial and commercial rivalry that eventually escalated into the armed conflict of 1914. Based on many years of research in French and German archives, this study examines the adaptation of railroads and steam engines from Britain to the continent of Europe after the Napoleonic age. A fascinating example of how the same technology, borrowed at the same time from the same source, was assimilated differently by the two continental powers, this book offers a groundbreaking analysis of the crossroads of technology and politics during the first Industrial Revolution.
National Space and the Railways in Interwar Czechoslovakia
Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the newly formed country of Czechoslovakia built an ambitious national rail network out of what remained of the obsolete Habsburg system. While conceived as a means of knitting together a young and ethnically diverse nation-state, these railways were by their very nature a transnational phenomenon, and as such they simultaneously articulated and embodied a distinctive Czechoslovak cosmopolitanism. Drawing on evidence ranging from government documents to newsreels to train timetables, Iron Landscapes gives a nuanced account of how planners and authorities balanced these two imperatives, bringing the cultural history of infrastructure into dialogue with the spatial history of Central Europe.
Migration by Boat
Discourses of Trauma, Exclusion and Survival
Mannik, L. (ed)
At a time when thousands of refugees risk their lives undertaking perilous journeys by boat across the Mediterranean, this multidisciplinary volume could not be more pertinent. It offers various contemporary case studies of boat migrations undertaken by asylum seekers and refugees around the globe and shows that boats not only move people and cultural capital between places, but also fuel cultural fantasies, dreams of adventure and hope, along with fears of invasion and terrorism. The ambiguous nature of memories, media representations and popular culture productions are highlighted throughout in order to address negative stereotypes and conversely, humanize the individuals involved.
Timber, Sail, and Rail
An Archaeology of Industry, Immigration, and the Loma Prieta Mill
While taking a critical look at the labor and social issues related to timber, the story of labor, immigration, and development around the San Francisco Bay region is told through the lens of an archaeological case study of a major player of the timber industry between 1885 and 1920. Timber, Sail, and Rail recounts the mill operations and broadly examines its intersections with other industries, such as shipping, brick manufacture, rail companies, lime production, and other lesser enterprises. Three seasons of archaeological fieldwork, as well as ethnography and regional archival work, are examined to emphasize technological and labor components at the historic Loma Prieta mill.
Subjects: Archaeology History (General) Transport Studies
The Train Journey
Transit, Captivity, and Witnessing in the Holocaust
Deportations by train were critical in the Nazis’ genocidal vision of the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.” Historians have estimated that between 1941 and 1944 up to three million Jews were transported to their deaths in concentration and extermination camps. In his writings on the “Final Solution,” Raul Hilberg pondered the role of trains: “How can railways be regarded as anything more than physical equipment that was used, when the time came, to transport the Jews from various cities to shooting grounds and gas chambers in Eastern Europe?” This book explores the question by analyzing the victims’ experiences at each stage of forced relocation: the round-ups and departures from the ghettos, the captivity in trains, and finally, the arrival at the camps. Utilizing a variety of published memoirs and unpublished testimonies, the book argues that victims experienced the train journeys as mobile chambers, comparable in importance to the more studied, fixed locations of persecution, such as ghettos and camps.
Subjects: Genocide History Memory Studies Transport Studies
A U-Turn to the Future
Sustainable Urban Mobility since 1850
Emanuel, M., Schipper. F., & Oldenziel, R. (eds)
From local bike-sharing initiatives to overhauls of transport infrastructure, mobility is one of the most important areas in which modern cities are trying to realize a more sustainable future. Yet even as politicians and planners look ahead, there remain critical insights to be gleaned from the history of urban mobility and the unsustainable practices that still impact our everyday lives. United by their pursuit of a “usable past,” the studies in this interdisciplinary collection consider the ecological, social, and economic aspects of urban mobility, showing how historical inquiry can make both conceptual and practical contributions to the projects of sustainability and urban renewal.
Cars, Canoes, and Other Metaphors of Moral Imagination
Lipset, D. & Handler, R. (eds)
Metaphor, as an act of human fancy, combines ideas in improbable ways to sharpen meanings of life and experience. Theoretically, this arises from an association between a sign—for example, a cattle car—and its referent, the Holocaust. These “sign-vehicles” serve as modes of semiotic transportation through conceptual space. Likewise, on-the-ground vehicles can be rich metaphors for the moral imagination. Following on this insight, Vehicles presents a collection of ethnographic essays on the metaphoric significance of vehicles in different cultures. Analyses include canoes in Papua New Guinea, pedestrians and airplanes in North America, lowriders among Mexican-Americans, and cars in contemporary China, Japan, and Eastern Europe, as well as among African-Americans in the South. Vehicles not only “carry people around,” but also “carry” how they are understood in relation to the dynamics of culture, politics and history.