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1. The American Fire Engine (History)
2. Alleviating Urban Traffic Congestion
3. Twentieth-Century Sprawl: Highways
4. Breaking Gridlock: Moving Toward
5. Taking Charge: The Electric Automobile
6. City Center to Regional Mall:
7. The Encyclopedia of Classic Cars:

1. The American Fire Engine (History)
by Hans Halberstadt
Hardcover: 192 Pages (1993-08)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0879387505
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Describing the evolution of the fire engine from hand pumpers to steamers to the elaborate rigs of today, Halberstock points out all the interesting intricacies of the machines, takes readers along to fight real fires, and tells how to purchase a fire truck for $2,000, or less. Illus. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great reading
This book is a great illustrated history of fire engines in America.I actually live in San Jose, CA where several of the pieces of equipment are located.Highly recommend to anyone who loves fire engines!

4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Elemental
This is an extraordinary book.A great mix of photos and text, which includes not only bios of some of the famous truck lines, but information on technological progressions in fire fighting, and how this impacted the work of the individual fire fighter.Unless it's an action shot of an actual fire, with smoke and flames, each photo is taken on a beautiful, sunny day, on which each truck is also immaculate.This is a lot like each of our categorical memories of these trucks from earliest youth.There's just some kind of intense coolness factor that surrounds fire trucks, even as they became boxier and more industrial looking, especially after governmental rules were changed to require all personnel to ride inside, no longer allowed tocling to the back or ride on the running boards.

For years I kept this book in the lobby of our firm, and everyone loved it.Especially the fire dept. inspectors making their rounds to see if our fire extinguishers were at the proper height on the walls, and our "Exit" signs illuminated.Seeing them fixated on this book suggested that they'd rather be riding in the wind, with one of those emblematic Dalmations, then writing me up for having too many extension cords snaking back to a single outlet.

So why only 4 stars?Because the author missed including any W.S. Darley fire trucks, made right here in Illinois without interruption for almost 100 years.Add a Darley, and I give it 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars The American Fire Engine
I really like this book, Mr. Halberstadt did and excellent job in describing the San Jose Fire Dept. and many other departments on the west coast of the USA. I think the Damaltion in the from cover is a very cute dog and the pictures of real action firefighters are great. The historic pictures are rare and some of the modern piece of apparatus are also depicted very well. You can tell that the author went through great lenght is researching his material and documenting it prior to publishing it.

4-0 out of 5 stars The American Fire Engine
Great general reading / coffee table material on the fire engine and the fire services. Wonderful historical material and some great real life stories. This book covers the complete history of the fire service from theearlier horse drawn fire apparatus to modern equipment. Details whatequipment has been used for over the years and how it has evolved to becomewhat is is today. BEAUTIFUL Photography throughout. My only complaint is itis a bit slanted towards west coast fire departments (I believe the authoris from California). Nonetheless, Highly recommended by this reader. ... Read more

2. Alleviating Urban Traffic Congestion (CESifo Book Series)
by Richard Arnott, Tilmann Rave, Ronnie Schöb
Hardcover: 250 Pages (2005-09-01)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$25.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0262012197
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In 2000, the average driver in US metropolitan areas endured 27 hours of traffic delays, a rise from 7 hours in 1980. In many other countries, traffic delays are considerably worse than in the United States, and in developing countries urban traffic congestion is increasing with alarming rapidity. For fifty years, economists have been advocating congestion pricing as the way to deal with urban traffic congestion; but today, even after some successes, congestion pricing is encountering considerable political resistance. The authors of Alleviating Urban Traffic Congestion advocate active consideration of more microscopic policies that attack the problem at the scale at which actual policy decisions are made. Microscopic models, rather than macroscopic models that are too simplified and too aggregated, they argue, will lead to the analysis of a wider and more creative range of policies, at least some of which should work well and be politically acceptable.

After developing the themes of the book, the authors illustrate them by examining some areas of urban transport policy that have been neglected by the macroscopic approach. These include downtown parking policy, the encouragement of bicycling, the staggering of work hours by dominant employers, and the use by medium-sized cities of a "multimode" ticket that charges cars entering the city center a toll equal to the transit fare. The reorientation of urban transport analysis that they advocate will by no means eliminate traffic delays but should speed up the adoption of a richer, more flexible, and ultimately more effective set of policies to alleviate urban traffic congestion. ... Read more

3. Twentieth-Century Sprawl: Highways and the Reshaping of the American Landscape
by Owen D. Gutfreund
Paperback: 320 Pages (2005-10-06)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$5.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195189078
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Here, Owen Gutfreund offers a fascinating look at how highways have dramatically transformed American communities nationwide, aiding growth and development in unsettled areas and undermining existing urban centers. Gutfreund uses a "follow the money" approach, showing how government policies subsidized suburban development, ] and fueled a chronic nationwide dependence on cars and roadbuilding, with little regard for expense, efficiency, ecological damage, or social equity.The consequence was a combination of unstoppable suburban sprawl, along with ballooning municipal debt burdens, deteriorating center cities, and profound changes in American society and culture. Gutfreund tells the story via case studies of three communities--Denver, Colorado; Middlebury, Vermont; and Smyrna, Tennessee.Different as these places are, they all show the ways that government-sponsored highway development radically transformed America's cities and towns. Based on original research and vividly written, Twentieth-Century Sprawl brings to light the benefits and consequences of the spread of American highways and makes a major contribution to our understanding of ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
This book delivers detailed, thorough insight into how federal and state highway policies affected cities of varied size and circumstance. Its excellent historical background reminds us why twenty-first century cities and their transportation are facing the challenges they are today.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Book About USA's Sins
After reading this book, you will know why we should change the way we are building our cities, and the way we are living. ... Read more

4. Breaking Gridlock: Moving Toward Transportation That Works
by Jim Motavalli
Hardcover: 496 Pages (2003-03-17)
list price: US$23.00 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578050391
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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In the face of skyrocketing gas prices and mind-numbing traffic, commuters' frustrations are at an all-time high. Addressing our nation's seemingly overwhelming transportation woes, Breaking Gridlock looks at the present state of the U.S. transportation system and explores the innovations, technology, and array of choices available for reenvisioning that system for the twenty-first century. Transportation expert Jim Motavalli takes us to some of America's most traffic-plagued cities, offering critiques of current transportation and suggesting models for the future. Along the way, he introduces us to inventors, traffic planners, and environmentally conscious commuters who are making creative contributions to easing the congestion on our nation's highways.
With its practical ideas and innovative concepts, Breaking Gridlock makes a persuasive case for ending the stranglehold that cars have on our lives and for exploring alternatives that can help alleviate traffic, decrease sprawl, and reduce pollution. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars Information Goofs Not Possible to Ignore
Motavalli is not particularly good about keeping his details correct.For example:

1) He refers to Boston's Central Artery as the John F. Kennedy Expressway.Lots of people make this mistake.It's actually the John F. Fitzgerald Expressway.What is bad about this error, is that he states that JFK would not have approved of the orginal Central Artery.

2) He states that parts of Acadia National Park are only accessible by shuttle.That is not true according to the National Park Service website, insofar as I can tell.

Overall, I find his premise disturbing as well.Although the idea that transit can dampen congestion was a novel idea a decade ago, more and more transportation officials and researchers are realizing that transit operates as a supplement to roads, rather than a replacement.If you build a new transit line, you are adding capacity to the transportation network.There may be an initial shift to transit (for those for which it is convenient), but that frees capacity on the highway, which causes more people from utilize the highway.The highway will be congested no matter how much transit is built.

Instead of reading books like this, there are much better, more thorough reports/analyses out there, from transit authorities/advocates (i.e. not polemic journalists), MPOs, state DOTs, and transportation research organizations/firms (and others).

1-0 out of 5 stars Militant Anti-Mobility Screed
Autos have offered the freedom of mobility for millions who could never have otherwise left their places of birth in pursuit of a better life. Go to any developing country, and ask people what they want most. The answer: automobiles. Because automobiles represent freedom, mobility, a better life and more opportunities to pursue their dreams. Why Motavalli is opposed to this is beyond comprehension. He is a self-appointed armchair social engineer of the worst stripe; a hectoring scold who probably wishes there was an armed batallion of lifestyle police ready to confiscate the family minivan if they got the chance. Don't waste yout time or money on this tripe, unless, of course, you're a member of the Earth Liberation Front looking for an impetus for your next anti-social act.

4-0 out of 5 stars Damn that traffic jam...
Motavalli has produced a stimulating, always readable account of the traffic woes that beset us, taking as his starting point the gridlock that faces commuters in southwestern Connecticut every morning. He considers new approaches such as ferries, "clean" buses, bicycles, light rail--his message is that just about anything that gets us out of our cars is good.

This book is best read as a companion to Motavalli's earlier book on the new non-polluting cars with hydrogen-fuel-cell technology that are just around the corner--although he recognizes the irony that clean cars are no less a cause of gridlock than their dirty brethren.

5-0 out of 5 stars Suggested models for future transportation alternatives
In the face of increasingly long and difficult commutes and rocketing gas prices comes a title which explores not one but a range of viable options for transportation. Introductory chapters examine the state of the U.S. transportation system and introduces the technology and choices which can help re-create systems for the future. Examinations of the nation's most congested suburbs and cities provide critiques and suggested models for future transportation alternatives. An important guide. ... Read more

5. Taking Charge: The Electric Automobile in America
by Michael Brian Schiffer
Hardcover: 225 Pages (1994-08-17)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$15.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560983558
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The tumultuous history of inventors and corporations whohave tried to bring the electric car to market.

Amazingly, in 1900 28 percent of all cars were electric. By 1920 theelectric car had all but vanished and gas-powered cars dominated themarket. In Taking Charge, Schiffer deftly explores how culturalfactors, not technological ones, explain the rise of gas-guzzlingcars. For this edition, Schiffer brings the history of the electriccar into the present, arguing that despite the Detroit Big Three’sreluctance to make electric cars, their time has finally arrived. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars 60 electric cabs once ran in New York city, read how they did it!
Amazon is a wonderful place to go book browsing. Not only will you find new books but also a staggering cross-referenced selection of out of print materials, iconizisized and eligible for super-saver shipping. Taking Charge The Electric Automobile In America came up in a search for electric vehicle book. Weighing in at 225 pages, I felt a book on electric vehicle history was worth a read. Michael Schiffer surprised me though with the truth about how wide spread electric vehicle usage was in early America. The discussion of how the power industry operates will give you the reader a better view of how much energy is out there and ready to be used. All of this combines into a somewhat stale yet important volume about early American history.

The goal of the book is to examine and explain why electric vehicles disappeared in the early 1920's. The author walks us through the initial distribution of power in the United States and the problems associated with DC in a wide area network. Then, the rollout and problems associated with lead-acid batteries of the time, particularly when used in a fleet of sixty cabs in New York city. The lead-acid batteries were sensitive to the bumps and vibrations of daily travel causing them to last less than six months. Today we expect no less than a two year life-span out of our lead-acid batteries in cars. Moving on, Thomas Edison, a prominent figure in early battery research, and Henry Ford converge in a battle of gasoline vs electric. We all know the ultimate conclusion but the methods both men used are quite sinister.

Michael covers three theories at the opening of this book to explain why this happened: vested interest, technological constraint and consumerist. The theories were new to me and gave me a much needed foundation to debate the demise of electric vehicles in the 1990's. While coverage of the theories here would be worthwhile, I leave you the reader the opportunity to examine them and offer your opinion in a followup review to my own. These theories are being tested even now in Key West, FL on a smaller scale. Over the past two years electric vehicle rentals have quietly pressed the gasoline moped rental market share to an alarming 50% by my best estimates and through interviews over the past weekend. Hotels now offer charging services for these six passenger mini cars to guests at no extra charge (no pun intended). I wish you could have seen my face as my cab pulled me up to the Casa Marina hotel and I saw a line of Think EV's being charged!

We can learn a lot from studying the past. You can also see proof of this "history repeats itself" proverb in this book. Taking Charge was published in 1994, before GM's EV1 program was leasing cars. The vested interest theory presented herein is eerily similar to how GM squashed the EV1. To drive the point home, General Motors and Ford are credited in this book with killing the first generation of electric cars!

4-0 out of 5 stars Light and interesting
This kind of book is an worthwhile since so many people are discussing the pros and cons of electric cars. Invariably mention is made of the fact that electric cars have as long a history as gasoline cars. This book is more or less about that history. It is not heavy on lots of details so it makes for a fairly interesting and fast-moving read. In covering the history of the electric car, the author also covers the history of gasoline cars, the development of central power stations in the US, and some social customs such as touring. There are a number of interesting details about that time period, and some of the main characters like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, that you may not have thought about before. While the book talks about different issues surrounding the rise and fall of the electric car, the main conclusion appears to be that battery capacity and range have, and will continue to be the main obstacle to acceptance of electric cars. The last chapter of the book attempts to look ahead. Since the book dates to before the whole GM EV-1 fiasco, the predictions seems a bit naive and optimistic in light of what we now know happened, and the whole issue of high gas prices was not a factor when the book was written. While this book doesn't contribute a whole lot of new information relevant to the current discussion of electric cars, it does give a nice background to their history in the US.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great early history of the electric car
This book concentrates on the early commercial history of the electric car. Only a small final chapter is devoted to progress in electric cars since the 20's.

What makes the book so interesting are the recurring themes of electric cars, present since their inception. "They're too slow", "They don't have the range", "new batteries will be coming out next year"... all of which apply to the current discussion of electric cars in 2007.

Even hybrid cars were experimented with very early on, and one wishes for a bit more technical information on those. Plus it would be nice to know what happened to Edison's replacement for the lead-acid battery. Is it still in use today? Or is it extinct?

The last chapter is also fun. His prognostications are not too far off the mark. He predicted the next innovation would not come from the Big 3 automakers, no matter what they said they were going to do. That turned out to be true. He also predicted we would have some options for buying electric cars by now. In that he was wrong, but we do have the Prius and Insight.

So, all in all, a fine early history, but you'll still want to know more to fill in that gap from 1920-2007!

5-0 out of 5 stars Mobile America, history of electric cars & the choices we ma
This book starts out with a history of how Americans became mobile and the choices we made with respect to bicycles, mass transit and cars.It then goes into modest detail about the development of power generating stations needed to support electric cars and into great detail about the development of electric cars and how they fit into U.S. society.Development of gas cars is covered in depth only to compare the technologies and illustrate the choices we made.By reading this, you know a great deal about transportation technology and the society that developed it.The last chapter is all about the present and near term future of electric cars.The book offers an excellent depiction of how we have become the mobile society (or mobile mess?) that we became.Recommended for history buffs and especially for electric car enthusiasts. ... Read more

6. City Center to Regional Mall: Architecture, the Automobile, and Retailing in Los Angeles, 1920-1950
by Richard Longstreth
Paperback: 536 Pages (1998-06-05)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$12.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0262621258
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Winner of the Society of Architectural Historians' 1999 Spiro KostofAward

"[A]n engaging look at the neglected history of retail architecture andits relationship to the automobile." -- Mary Marien, ChristianScience Monitor

From the 1920s to the 1950s, Los Angeles did for the shopping centerwhat New York and Chicago had done for the skyscraper. In a singlegeneration, the American retail center shifted from the downtown core tothe regional shopping center.

Ten years in the making, City Center to Regional Mall is asweeping yet detailed account of the development of the regionalshopping center. Richard Longstreth takes a historical perspective,relating retail development to broader architectural, urban, andcultural issues. His story is far from linear; the topics he coversinclude the emergence of Hollywood as a downtown in miniature,experiments with the shopping center as an amenity of plannedresidential developments, the branch department store as a landmark ofdecentralization, the evolution of off-street parking facilities, andthe obscure origins of the pedestrian mall as a spine for retailcomplexes.

Longstreth takes seriously the task of looking at retail buildings--oneof the most neglected yet common building types--and the economics ofreal estate in the American city. He shows that Los Angeles in theperiod covered was a harbinger of American metropolitan trends duringthe second half of this century. Over 250 illustrations, culled from awide variety of sources, constitute one of the best collections of oldLA photographs published anywhere. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Informative Book about Los Angeles
If you ever wanted to know about the history of Los Angeles and how it became a large metropolitian area, this is the book for you. Hundreds of pictures from the late 1800's to the 1950's makes this book a veryresourceful tool.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well researched documentation of retailing change in L.A
The changes in retailing which have taken place in L.A. which are examined in this book have occured throughout the United States and are taking place throughout the world right noe. The population shift to the suburbs and shopping in regional malls.

This has causedthe value of retail space to decline in many area of America. ... Read more

7. The Encyclopedia of Classic Cars: A Celebration of the Motorcar from 1945 to 1975
by Martin Buckley
Hardcover: 256 Pages (1997-07)
list price: US$19.98 -- used & new: US$8.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1901289184
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The motor car has had a firm grip on our col lective imagination since the first prototypes were designed over 100 years ago. Highlighting the years 1945-1975, this book covers the history & development of the car, as well as its place in popular culture. ' ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Overview of the Classics
The book has a good approach to the subject, and an excellent array of colour pictures of great vehicles.A safe buy for any enthusiast. ... Read more

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