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Rush Hour How 500 Million Commuters Survive the Daily Journey to Work by Iain Gately

Rush Hour How 500 Million Commuters Survive the Daily Journey to Work

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Ian Gately looks into the history, experience and actuality of the Rush Hour contrasting the different experiences of travellers around the world as they race to start and end their working day. How do people cope, how do they stay sane and is it always going to be like this, find out in Rush Hour, a sane look at a mad world.

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Rush Hour How 500 Million Commuters Survive the Daily Journey to Work by Iain Gately

Each working day 500 million people across the planet experience the miracle and misery of commuting. Whether undertaken by car, bus, train or bicycle, the practice shapes our days and creates a time and a space for a surprisingly diverse range of activities. In RUSH HOUR, Iain Gately traces the past, present and future of commuting, from the age of Dickens to the potential of the driverless car. He examines the contrasting experiences of commuters in Britain and elsewhere in the world: from the crush-loaded salarymen of the Tokyo metro to the road-rage afflicted middle managers of America. Notwithstanding its occasional traumas, commuting emerges as a positive aspect of modern life. It has dictated the growth of cities; been proving ground for new technologies; and given countless people freedom of movement and the opportunity to improve their lives.


'Gately's book makes the journey worthwhile with many entertaining anecdotes and surprising facts'

. 'Gately has created a riveting look at how new-fangled steam-powered transport in the 19th century progressed commuting from an experience considered as futuristic as private space travel to commonplace ritual for more than half a billion people around the world
Daily Mail

. 'Having been a long-distance commuter, I enjoyed Gately's book, which includes little gems such as why the British have always been silent commuters. Counter-intuitively, he believes that commuting is a good thing. It signifies social progress, as people have used their freedom to travel to better themselves. Worth remembering as you sit fuming on the delayed 7.14am from Leeds to York
Times Higher Education

. 'Mr Gately is a good travelling companion - especially if you can find a seat

. 'A lively history ... Gately has done commuters a real service: he can't make the journeys shorter, but he makes them more interesting
Mail on Sunday

. 'An entertaining study ... Rush Hour is never less than interesting, pacey and rattling with trivia
The Times

. 'I loved this book's generosity and curiosity about daily life and the people stuck in it. Anyone who commutes would find their journey to work enlivened and enlightened by it
Joe Moran, Guardian (Book of the Week)

. 'An entertaining social history of life in the rush hour

. 'Colourful, engaging and hugely enjoyable
The Sunday Times


About the Author

IAIN GATELY was born in 1963 and brought up in Hong Kong. He studied law at Cambridge before working in corporate finance. He is the author of several critically acclaimed books including THE ASSESSOR, DRINK, and LA DIVA NICOTINA.

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Book Info

Publication date

6th November 2014


Iain Gately

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Head of Zeus


320 pages


The Real World
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Transport: general interest
Social & cultural history



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