Sunday, January 1, 2017

TransportiCA Book Club-January 2017: "Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation" by Edward Humes

Photo by David Bayles.  
For the January Book Club selection, and to start the new year with an excellent survey publication in transportation, TransportiCA has chosen Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation, by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and prolific author, Edward Humes.

First and foremost, this is one of those books where you think you will be reading a few pages - or maybe a chapter - at most in a sitting, then find yourself postponing upcoming tasks and cancelling future appointments, because you need to read just a bit more.  TransportiCA did just that; created a schedule for reading Door to Door after lunch, and just past midnight, began to plan a time to read the entire book again.

We refer earlier to Door to Door as an excellent survey publication, because it presents many forms of transportation - automotive, bicycling, walking, aviation, maritime, rail and others - along with multiple options for readers to consider, and an endless supply of facts - or as they say in Washington, "real facts."

Door to Door is also on par with other monumental environmental publications providing past, current and modeled (future) circumstances, relaying the developing nexus of transportation, environmental, social, national security and economic systems.  The book is amazing in also stressing the housing-jobs-transportation balance, as well as, bringing to light many factors of social equity in our modern transportation system.  Although "Triple-Bottom Line" is not expressly mentioned in Door to Door, this is, without a doubt, a must-read publication for scholars of "green" MBAs, sustainability / sustainable management, and others who care about transportation, the environment, energy and public policy.

For the reasons mentioned above, and many more, TransportiCA is proud to feature Door to Door for the January 2017 Book Club selection.  Further, we also would like to bring attention to two other Edward Humes publications - EcoBarrons and Forces of Nature, as they are readings in-line with TransportiCA's values, and the Triple-Bottom Line.

A 20% discount is available when purchasing online from HarperCollins with code "BOOKPERK20."

Notable Door to Door Reviews

"Like 'Silent Spring' and 'The Omnivore’s Dilemma,' 'Door to Door' is a rallying point for culturewide change... Humes’s tireless curation of figure and fact, his well-reasoned arguments and his uncluttered, well-ordered prose may turn the ship." Mary Roach, The New York Times.

"A fascinating read from the center of world car culture"Bill McKibben, author Deep Economy and founder of

"Door to Door is an eye-opening account of the massive physical systems that support our increasingly digital world”Richard Florida, Senior Editor at The Atlantic and author of Rise of the Creative Class.

Questions for January's Book Club Contest


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.


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.

Author and book information provided by HarperCollins.

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