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Wanderlust: A History of Walking (2000)

by Rebecca Solnit

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,3703211,469 (3.81)51
A passionate, thought provoking exploration of walking as a political and cultural activity, from the author of Men Explain Things to Me Drawing together many histories--of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores--Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction--from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja--finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.… (more)
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» See also 51 mentions

English (27)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
A terrific exploration of both the history of walking and how it affects our psychic as well as physical lives. I have already added several books she references to my to-read list. ( )
  grandpahobo | Mar 4, 2022 |
80
  revirier | Dec 13, 2021 |
In the first place, this is not a book that is a history of walking. She does cover the fascination of walking, the links between mind and body while walking. Additionally, she speaks about how our relationship with walking has changed in the urban sphere.

Yet, this is not a history of walking. First, she does not cover anything of the traditions of walking in Africa, Asia, and Australasia, for instance. Second, she focussed excessively on Western authors and stuff they have written.

For the most part, the book is an exercise in tedium. ( )
  RajivC | Dec 11, 2021 |
As with most Solnit books (and appropriate for its subject), a meandering journey. Wide-ranging and thought-provoking. ( )
  heggiep | Jan 17, 2021 |
Sort of a history/sociological look at the simpliest of acts that most take for granted(unless you're one of those who will spend 5min searching for that spot closest to the door). A very enjoyable read. Would go hand-in-hand with Thich Nhat Hanh's "Long Road Turns To Joy: A Guide To Walking Meditation". Read this several years ago (2004). ( )
  feralcatbob | Dec 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rebecca Solnitprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ivary, LiisaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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A passionate, thought provoking exploration of walking as a political and cultural activity, from the author of Men Explain Things to Me Drawing together many histories--of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores--Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction--from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja--finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.

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