Loads of further great reviews have come in, including some weigh-ins by some real heavyweights…
In the WSJ, James Q. Wilson, professor emeritus at UCLA (to name just one of his identities), says Traffic is a “a fascinating survey of the oddities and etiquette of driving.”
Over at the New Republic, meanwhile, Harvard University urban economist Edward L. Glaeser calls the book “a smart and comprehensive analysis of the everyday act of driving” and “a balanced and instructive discussion on how to improve our policies toward the inexorable car.”
The Dallas Morning News, in a review by Alexandra Witze, of one of my favorite journals, Nature, observes, “It is a rare book that presumes to explain so many mysteries of human behavior, such as why “park sharks” circle endlessly looking for a space, why rush hour seems to keep getting worse and why every other driver on the road is an idiot. Remarkably, Traffic succeeds in all three, and much more besides…. [t]his is no pop-psychology treatment of driving habits, but a deeply researched, technical insight into the nature of how people interact on the roads.”
Ben Wear, transpo writer for the Austin-American Statesman, offers this: “The book, improbably, is funny, consistently readable and, even for someone like me who thinks about this stuff a lot, enlightening. Over and over, Vanderbilt takes on assumptions we all have about the road and turns them on their head. Having done exhaustive research — he seemingly talked to every traffic engineer in this and the other hemisphere, visited traffic nerve centers and test sites and read hundreds of obscure treatises on traffic phenomena — Vanderbilt writes with a bracing authority.”
Comments Off on Sounding One’s Own Horn, Part IV. Click here to leave a comment.