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Wanderlust: A History of Walking

by

Wanderlust: A History of Walking Cover

ISBN13: 9780140286014
ISBN10: 0140286012
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Drawing together many histories — of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores — Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction — from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja — finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.

Review:

"This subtle and suggestive study, though, is something else. Wanderlust is, as Ms. Solnit admits, an 'amateur history,' but amateur in the best sense. The trail mix is always ready at hand, providing unexpected nuggets (Hobbes, we are told, had a walking stick with a built-in inkwell) and piquant sensations (the desert, Ms. Solnit writes, is 'a place where loneliness has a luxurious flavor, like the blues')." Edward Rothstein, The New York Times

Review:

"Meandering through human bipedalism, urban policy, garden design, nature treks, pilgrimages, and the joys of urban roving, Solnit's beautifully written chronicle visits several continents but ends with an inspired promenade down a new pedestrian paradise: the Vegas strip." Harlan, Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Solnit presents an absolutely fascinating look at how the act of walking itself has influenced our history, our science, our literature, and the very way that we see ourselves as human beings. Drawing on a multitude of diverse disciplines, Solnit illustrates that walking has led to some of the best, and worst, incidents in all of history....In this discussion of walking's role in literature, politics, education, philosophy, feminism, and religion, Solnit walks to great heights with a historical masterwork." Booklist

Review:

"Delightful...Solnit covers all kinds of ground in her inspiring book on walking." The Seattle Times

Review:

"Solnit is an elegant essayist...as a guide, she knows the path well; she is tireless and sure-footed." The New York Times

Synopsis:

Drawing together many histories-of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores-Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction-from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja-finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.

Synopsis:

Profiling some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction, Solnit presents a delightful and brilliantly conceived meditation on the art of walking.

About the Author

Rebecca Solnit is the author of numerous books, including Hope in the Dark, River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West, Wanderlust: A History of Walking, and As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art, which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. In 2003, she received the prestigious Lannan Literary Award.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

I. The Pace of Thoughts

1. Tracing a Headland: An Introduction

3. The Mind at Three Miles an Hour

3. Rising and Falling: The Theorists of Bipedalism

4. The Uphill Road to Grace: Some Pilgrimages

5. Labyrinths and Cadillacs: Walking into the Realm of the Symbolic

II. From the Garden to the Wild

6. The Path Out of the Garden

7. The Legs of William Wordsworth

8. A Thousand Miles of Conventional Sentiment: The Literature of Walking

9. Mount Obscurity and Mount Arrival

10. Of Walking Clubs and Land Wars

III. Lives of the Streets

11. The Solitary Stroller and the City

12. Paris, or Botanizing on the Asphalt

13. Citizens of the Streets: Parties, Processions, and Revolutions

14. Walking After Midnight: Women, Sex, and Public Space

IV. Past the End of the Road

15. Aerobic Sisyphus and the Suburbanized Psyche

16. The Shape of a Walk

17. Las Vegas, or the Longest Distance Between Two Points

Notes

Index

Sources for Foot Quotations

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Andrew Daily, February 28, 2007 (view all comments by Andrew Daily)
Solnit's book is a masterpiece in sustained mediatation on a single, seemingly inconsequential topic: walking. Beginning with recent discussions among primatologists and anthropologists that the bipedal walking is not only typical of, but fundamental to what it means to be human, Solnit launches into a cultural and political history of walking. She veers from the English romantics to Parisian flaneurs, from religious pilgrimage to protest marches, with diversions such as the history of English parks and gardens, and the regulation of prostitution. Personalities as diverse as Wordsworth, Austen, Baudelaire, Breton, Jack the Ripper, Moses, Frank O'Hara, and Solnit herself make appearances.

This book was unfairly lost in the crowd of micro-microhistories that flooded shelves a few years ago - of salt, of cod, etc. - but it stands above the rest as Solnit blends personal account, literary history, and political passion into a fascinating and compelling homage and plea for ambulatory culture and ethics. Read this book as the precursor to her more recent "A Field Guide to Getting Lost."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(11 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780140286014
Author:
Solnit, Rebecca
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
New York, N.Y., U.S.A.
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Hiking
Subject:
Mind & Body
Subject:
Walking
Subject:
Voyages and travels
Subject:
Spiritual
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Sports and Fitness-Walking
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
TR-00-18
Publication Date:
20010631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
7.98x5.97x.75 in. .69 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Spiritual
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Walking
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Wanderlust: A History of Walking New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.00 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140286014 Reviews:
"Review" by , "This subtle and suggestive study, though, is something else. Wanderlust is, as Ms. Solnit admits, an 'amateur history,' but amateur in the best sense. The trail mix is always ready at hand, providing unexpected nuggets (Hobbes, we are told, had a walking stick with a built-in inkwell) and piquant sensations (the desert, Ms. Solnit writes, is 'a place where loneliness has a luxurious flavor, like the blues')."
"Review" by , "Meandering through human bipedalism, urban policy, garden design, nature treks, pilgrimages, and the joys of urban roving, Solnit's beautifully written chronicle visits several continents but ends with an inspired promenade down a new pedestrian paradise: the Vegas strip."
"Review" by , "Solnit presents an absolutely fascinating look at how the act of walking itself has influenced our history, our science, our literature, and the very way that we see ourselves as human beings. Drawing on a multitude of diverse disciplines, Solnit illustrates that walking has led to some of the best, and worst, incidents in all of history....In this discussion of walking's role in literature, politics, education, philosophy, feminism, and religion, Solnit walks to great heights with a historical masterwork."
"Review" by , "Delightful...Solnit covers all kinds of ground in her inspiring book on walking."
"Review" by , "Solnit is an elegant essayist...as a guide, she knows the path well; she is tireless and sure-footed."
"Synopsis" by ,
Drawing together many histories-of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores-Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction-from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja-finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.
"Synopsis" by , Profiling some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction, Solnit presents a delightful and brilliantly conceived meditation on the art of walking.

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