Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Front Cover
Penguin, 2001 - Social Science - 326 pages
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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - feralcatbob - LibraryThing

Sort of a history/sociological look at the simpliest of acts that most take for granted(unless you're one of those who will spend 5min searching for that spot closest to the door). A very enjoyable ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - varielle - LibraryThing

Rebecca Solnit makes the reader think of walking as much more than the means to get from one place to another. The restrictions placed on walking by property rights, gender, politics, occupations ... Read full review

Contents

Tracing a Headland An Introduction
3
The Mind at Three Miles an Hour
14
Rising and Falling The Theorists of Bipedalism
30
The Uphill Road to Grace Some Pilgrimages
45
Labyrinths and Cadillacs Walking into the Realm of the Symbolic
64
FROM THE GARDEN TO THE WILD
79
The Path Out of the Garden
81
The Legs of William Wordsworth
104
The Solitary Stroller and the City
171
Paris or Botanizing on the Asphalt
196
Citizens of the Streets Parties Processions and Revolutions
214
Walking After Midnight Women Sex and Public Space
232
PAST THE END OF THE ROAD
247
Aerobic Sisyphus and the Suburbanized Psyche
249
The Shape of a Walk
267
Las Vegas or the Longest Distance Between Two Points
277

A Thousand Miles of Conventional Sentiment The Literature of Walking
118
Mount Obscurity and Mount Arrival
133
Of Walking Clubs and Land Wars
148
LIVES OF THE STREETS
169
Notes
293
Index
319
Sources for Foot Quotations
325
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

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.

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