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But, Wolfgang Schivelbusch notes in this vivid history of early rail travel, the promise of progress and democracy was swiftly compromised: the railways became an agency for the concentration of wealth in a few hands, and they created a class of passive consumers who simply climbed aboard and waited to arrive at their destinations. The railways, Schivelbusch writes, changed the nineteenth-century world for good or ill. They helped rewrite the industrialising world's sense of time, for now precise schedules had to be kept; they reinforced a sense of forward-plunging movement into the future; they even introduced the reality of mass disaster, for trains were always crashing, sometimes taking hundreds of travellers to their deaths.
Delving into urban planning, psychology, architecture, and economics as well as the history of technology, Schivelbusch paints a revealing portrait of the role of the railways in shaping the nineteenth-century mind--one whose influence endures in the present. --Gregory McNamee, Amazon.com
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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. This specific softcover book is in new condition with a cover that has sharp edges and corners and has a tight binding. The pages are clean, crisp, unmarked and uncreased. We package all books in custom cardboard book boxes for shipment and ship daily with tracking numbers.; "In a highly original and engaging fashion, Schivelbusch discusses the ways in which our perceptions of distance, time, autonomy, speed, and risk were altered by railway travel. As a history of the surprising ways in which technology and culture interact, this book covers a wide range of topics, including the changing perception of landscapes, the death of conversation while traveling, the problematic nature of the railway compartment, the space of glass architecture, the pathology of the railway journey, industrial fatigue and the history of shock, and the railroad and the city."; 8.0 X 5.4 X 0.6 inches; 219 pages. Seller Inventory # 23066