A History of Travel in 50 Vehicles
Humans have always traveled for a variety of reasons. Some reasons could be economic, leisure, educational, political, religious, or others. This work attempts to showcase fifty inventions that facilitate humans’ travel. Of course there are other inventions that help transport goods, but those are beyond this book’s scope. As there are so many inventions, which fifty to pick is not easy. Some of the inventions are obvious (such as the major modes of transportation); however, others (such as the personal jetpack) are less obvious. Whatever the invention, most are described in about four pages.
The inventions are chronologically arranged, starting with shoes and end-ending with segways (actually the conclusion describes a futuristic space trip). Appendices include chapter endnotes, chapter references, and recommendations for additional reading for readers interested in further research. Each chapter chronicles the development of its invention, along with its cultural impact. Pictures and sidebars enhance the narrative by linking the invention with events or uses in history. The emphasis on culture and history is so strong that it overshadows the science of the invention. This makes reading the chapter all the more enticing by situating the invention within the broader framework of society. The end of each chapter briefly outlines what subsequent inventions replaced that mode of transportation (if it has been replaced).
While the subject matter would be of interest to adults, the narrative is engaging, and the text is geared towards a middle-school reading level. The gorgeous book is well-suited for adults or middle-school students, or even those looking for a gift for someone with an interest in the history of travel.
Paula Grey • Phillip Hoose, Series Editor
Tilbury House Publishers