One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $54.20
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 27%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $54.20   
  • New (1) from $67.96   
  • Used (2) from $54.20   


Although millions of people in the United States love to ride bicycles for exercise or leisure, statistics show that only 1 percent of the total U.S. population uses bicycles for transportation-and barely half as many people bike to work. In his original and exciting book, One Less Car, Zack Furness examines what it means historically, culturally, socioeconomically, and politically to be a bicycle transportation advocate/activist.

Presenting an underground subculture of bike enthusiasts who aggressively resist car culture, Furness maps out the cultural trajectories between mobility, technology, urban space and everyday life. He connects bicycling to radical politics, public demonstrations, alternative media production (e.g., 'zines), as well as to the development of community programs throughout the world.

One Less Car also positions the bicycle as an object with which to analyze and critique some of the dominant cultural and political formations in the U.S.-and even breaks down barriers of race, class and gender privilege that are interconnected to mobility. For Furness, bicycling can be a form of liberation and a way to support social and environmental justice. So, he asks, Why aren't more Americans adopting bikes for their transportation needs?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"One Less Car is a serious update and expansion of the social and political history of bicycling. I would own this book for the notes and bibliography alone." 
—Robert Hurst, author of The Cyclist's Manifesto and The Art of Cycling
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592136124
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2010
  • Series: Sporting Series
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Zack Furness is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies at Columbia College Chicago and a member of the Bad Subjects collective. 

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


1 Introductions and Intersections 
2 Becoming Auto-Mobile 
3 VĂ©lorutionaries and the Right to the (Bikeable) City 
4 Critical Mass and the Functions of Bicycle Protest 
5 Two-Wheeled Terrors and Forty-Year-Old Virgins: Mass Media and the Representation of Bicycling 
6 DIY Bike Culture 
7 Handouts, Hand Ups, or Just Lending a Hand? Community Bike Projects, Bicycle Aid, and Competing Visions of Development under Globalization 
8 Conclusion, or "We Have Nothing to Lose but Our (Bike) Chains" 


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2010

    An interesting take on transportation, politics and culture

    While I'm not a bike commuter or one of those guys who has a helmet strapped to his bag at all times, I'm a fan of bicycles and a bit jaded on American car culture (I grew up in the Midwest). I saw the author speak at the Radical Bookfair in Baltimore this fall and I eventually decided to pick up One Less Car. Overall, I think the book is an interesting take on biking that introduced me to some new ideas about the relationships between transportation, politics and culture. Some of the content won't be entirely groundbreaking for folks who have read about suburban sprawl, car culture, etc. but there's also lots of material that I haven't run across in other books about bicycling (though I'm halfway through Jeff Mapes' book and really liking it). For example, there are chapters on media representations of bicyclists, bike subcultures, and even stuff on aid programs and economic development in Africa and Central America. In several places the phrasing could sound less 'academic' and still get the point across, but it's book by a professor and that sort of thing comes with the territory, I guess. It's a reasonable trade-off for the content and the research, but it might bug folks who don't typically read books on university presses. I really liked the introduction and conclusion, but Chapters 5 and 6 were my favorites. Chapter 4 (on Critical Mass) was my least favorite only because I'm sick of hearing about the rides. My only real complaint is that I wish there were more pictures and illustrations to capture some of the events, bikes and people discussed in the book. I'm a bit biased since I'm a photographer, but a few more visuals still would have been nice.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)