May 09, 10
Read in May, 2010
A wide ranging study of bipedal motion. An early chapter engages several anthropologists on what is the latest on the earliest form of walking by humans. Solnit identifies eighteenth century England as the site of the beginning of pleasure walking. It was first practiced by the rich in their gardens and soon spread to the wider outside world as a kind of reaction against the industrial revolution. There is an excellent chapter on how provocative and dangerous it has been for women to walk alone in public through most of history. She likely goes too far in assuming that technology and fast communication has forced walking into a sideshow forever but in all it's a balanced outlook.