On Roads

Front Cover
Profile Books Limited, 2010 - Roads - 312 pages
5 Reviews
In this history of roads and what they have meant to the people who have driven them, one of Britain's favourite cultural historians reveals how a relatively simple road system turned into a maze-like pattern of roundabouts, flyovers, and spaghetti junctions. Using a unique blend of travel writing, anthropology, history and social observation, he explores how Britain's roads have their roots in unexpected places, from Napoleon's role in the numbering system to the surprising origin of sat-nav. Full of quirky nuggets of history, such as the day trips organised to see the construction of the M1 and the 2.5m Mills and Boons used to build the M6 Toll Road, On Roads also celebrates innovators whose work we take for granted, such as the designers of the road sign system. On subjects ranging from speed limits to driving on the left, and the 'non-places where we stop to the unwritten laws of traffic jams, these hidden stories have never been told together, until now.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - John_Vaughan - LibraryThing

If you find it a little strange that a History Professor from Liverpool would write an entire book on the subject of the British Motorway, you’ll find it even stranger – should you pick up a copy ... Read full review

Review: On Roads: A Hidden History

User Review  - Howard - Goodreads

Moran is just a wonderful writer. He explores the topic of roads in Britain with his left-leaning French-influenced sociologist's insight, also taking in contemporary art, popular culture, political ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

Joe Moran is a Reader in Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University. He writes regularly for the Guardian, New Statesman and FT, and has been tipped by the Times Higher as one of the bestselling academics of the future. He is the author of Queuing for Beginners [9781861978417], and according to David Kynaston is 'single-handedly transforming the history of everyday life in modern Britain'.

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