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722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and…
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722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York (edició 1993)

de Clifton Hood

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2053100,027 (3.98)4
Clifton Hood traces the complex and fascinating history of the New York City subway system. At its opening in 1904, the tracks covered the twenty-two miles from City Hall up to 145th Street and Broadway, the longest stretch ever built at one time. From that initial route through the completion of the IND, the Independent Subway, in the 1940s, the subway grew to cover 722 miles -- long enough to reach from New York to Chicago. "Clifton Hood's 722 Miles is the fullest and most authoritative account of the building and impact of the New York City subways, the most extensive system of urban transportation in the United States and perhaps the world." -- Nathan Glazer, Harvard University "A clear, perceptive and carefully researched study of this engineering feat and the ways in which the subway led to an expansion of the metropolitan area." -- Publishers Weekly… (més)
Membre:Jay_Huhman
Títol:722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York
Autors:Clifton Hood
Informació:Simon & Schuster (1993), Hardcover, 335 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:History-U.S. Local

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722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York de Clifton Hood

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I really wanted to like this book, but it fell short of what I was hoping for. It focused entirely on the local politics that lead to the building of the subway, rather than a split between the politics and the engineering. Maybe as an engineer I'm just expecting too much from my histories, but I was really excited to learn how such a large subway with so many water-crossings was built.
Worth a read if you're curious, but if you struggle with nonfiction it may be hard to get through. ( )
  eraderneely | Feb 14, 2019 |
The New York subway system, much like the city itself, mocks hyperbole. The tracks, if stretched end to end, would travel from New York City to Chicago. It has its own police force of 4,250 employees, larger than that of Atlanta of Boston, and it has 469 stations. Forty-six percent of New Yorkers use it to travel to work and Wall Street would cease to function without it.

The book recounts the numerous physical and political barriers that need to be surmounted in accomplishing the huge feat. It's hard to overestimate the impact the system had on the city which relied on surface transport provided mostly by horse=drawn trolleys, making at best three to five miles per hour. The streets were incredibly congested. Crossing the street was a risky proposition.

Beyond the edge of transportation availability was a rural wasteland, and much of the impetus for building the subway network was from those who feared the middle class might leave New York City. Land surrounding the new stations became quite valuable and -- no surprise -- many fortunes were made by those who knew the routes ahead of time and could purchase land before the prices skyrocketed.

The New York City Transit Authority was created to reconcile the conflicting desires of the public: low fares yet high quality service. The NYCTA was supposed to bring management principles and eliminate the need for public subsidies. Ironically, Hood blames the systems decline during the sixties on "the ideology of business management, insulating transit management from the public, and lessening the accountability of top elected officials for transit decisions."

This is a fascinating book that illuminates the political and engineering feats required to complete the system. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
772 Miles is a thorough overview of New York City's subway system from the opening of the Interborough Rapid Transit system in 1904, the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation in 1923, the city-operated Independent Subway System in 1932. According to Hood there was only a decade or so of financial success for the privately owned subway companies, largely built on real estate speculation in areas of the city opened up by the subway lines. Then began a long decline in which corporate fiscal interests tangled with public interests and the subway began to lose out to the automobile in expanding the city. Hood likes to point out that in art representing the subway in the 30's and 40's that people are often sleeping. Fear of crime was not a concern in this age when subway safety was concerned more with the trains themselves going off the rails. Even the consolidation of the subways under municipal control in 1940 was a failure in Hood's view. This book was published in 1993 before the subways were revitalized and repopularized, so it makes me wonder that if there's ever been a Golden Age for the New York City subway that we're living in it right now.

This book is a bit dry and kind of business-focused as opposed to the social and cultural history of the subway, but it's not bad for a short history. ( )
  Othemts | Aug 29, 2009 |
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Clifton Hood traces the complex and fascinating history of the New York City subway system. At its opening in 1904, the tracks covered the twenty-two miles from City Hall up to 145th Street and Broadway, the longest stretch ever built at one time. From that initial route through the completion of the IND, the Independent Subway, in the 1940s, the subway grew to cover 722 miles -- long enough to reach from New York to Chicago. "Clifton Hood's 722 Miles is the fullest and most authoritative account of the building and impact of the New York City subways, the most extensive system of urban transportation in the United States and perhaps the world." -- Nathan Glazer, Harvard University "A clear, perceptive and carefully researched study of this engineering feat and the ways in which the subway led to an expansion of the metropolitan area." -- Publishers Weekly

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