Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation

Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation

by Edward Humes

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Overview

Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation by Edward Humes

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Garbology explores the hidden and costly wonders of our buy-it-now, get-it-today world of transportation, revealing the surprising truths, mounting challenges, and logistical magic behind every trip we take and every click we make.

Transportation dominates our daily existence. Thousands, even millions, of miles are embedded in everything we do and touch. We live in a door-to-door universe that works so well most Americans are scarcely aware of it. The grand ballet in which we move ourselves and our stuff is equivalent to building the Great Pyramid, the Hoover Dam, and the Empire State Building all in a day. Every day. And yet, in the one highly visible part of the transportation world—the part we drive—we suffer grinding commutes, a violent death every fifteen minutes, a dire injury every twelve seconds, and crumbling infrastructure.

Now, the way we move ourselves and our stuff is on the brink of great change, as a new mobility revolution upends the car culture that, for better and worse, built modern America. This unfolding revolution will disrupt lives and global trade, transforming our commutes, our vehicles, our cities, our jobs, and every aspect of culture, commerce, and the environment. We are, quite literally, at a fork in the road, though whether it will lead us to Carmageddon or Carmaheaven has yet to be determined.

Using interviews, data and deep exploration of the hidden world of ports, traffic control centers, and the research labs defining our transportation future, acclaimed journalist Edward Humes breaks down the complex movements of humans, goods, and machines as never before, from increasingly car-less citizens to the distance UPS goes to deliver a leopard-printed phone case. Tracking one day in the life of his family in Southern California, Humes uses their commutes, traffic jams, grocery stops, and online shopping excursions as a springboard to explore the paradoxes and challenges inherent in our system. He ultimately makes clear that transportation is one of the few big things we can change—our personal choices do have a profound impact, and that fork in the road is coming up fast.

Door to Door is a fascinating detective story, investigating the worldwide cast of supporting characters and technologies that have enabled us to move from here to there—past, present, and future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062372079
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/12/2016
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 997,093
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Edward Humes is the author of ten critically acclaimed nonfiction books, including Eco Barons, Monkey Girl, Over Here, School of Dreams, Baby E.R., Mean Justice, No Matter How Loud I Shout, and the bestseller Mississippi Mud. He has received the Pulitzer Prize for his journalism and numerous awards for his books. He has written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, and Sierra. He lives in California.

Table of Contents

Introduction The Three-Million-Mile Commute 1

Chapter 1 Morning Alarm 19

Chapter 2 The Ghost in the Can 41

Chapter 3 Morning Brew 61

Chapter 4 Four Airliners a Week 79

Chapter 5 Friday the Thirteenth 93

Chapter 6 Pizza, Ports, and Valentines 133

Chapter 7 The Ladies of Logistics 161

Chapter 8 Angels Gate 193

Chapter 9 The Ballet in Motion 213

Chapter 10 The Last Mile 229

Chapter 11 Peak Travel 251

Chapter 12 Robots in Paradise 263

Chapter 13 The Next Door 291

Acknowledgments 319

Appendix 321

Notes 333

Index 359

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