Rush Hour by Iain Gately

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Rush Hour by Iain Gately

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Category: History
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Luke Marlowe
Reviewed by Luke Marlowe
Summary: Rush Hour may not seem the most fascinating of topics to write a book about, but Iain Gately blends a collection of historical tales and facts together with his wonderful writing. The last thing you may want to do after enduring the hell of rush hour is read about it, but this book certainly makes it worth your while.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: November 2014
Publisher: Head of Zeus
ISBN: 9781781854068

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Rush Hour.

500 Million commuters go through it every day, and it's hard to avoid - whether like me you're a jaded Londoner stuck in someone's armpit whilst attempting to read on a cramped tube, or trying to navigate busy country lanes in order to do the school run and get to work on time, we've probably all experienced it. But have you ever thought about the history of it?

I can't say I have, but thankfully Iain Gately has written a really rather wonderful book explaining the origins of it, and follows the history of Rush Hour right up to the future with modern developments like telecommuting and driver-less cars possibly eradicating the need for a rush hour at all.

The book takes in Rush Hours from all around the world - the Victorian rush hour that came with the birth of the train, up to modern American rush hours on endless freeways. It is completely fascinating throughout, with fascinating asides and tales about commuters, discussion about how rush hour is different across the globe, and a look at the psychology of the commuter, and why we're so prone to aggression!

Whilst a good section of the book is dedicated to the future of the rush hour, it certainly seems that it won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Whilst this dawn of flexible working and driver-less cars suggests that rush hour will certainly be changing, some of the alternatives don't seem to be working particularly well - the look at telecommuting and how it has failed to become 'the future' as people once thought it would be, is a very interesting read indeed, with data security and energy usage proving to be real issues.

It may not seem like the most obvious or enthralling read, but Iain Gately has written a fantastically written and endlessly entertaining book. He's written similar non-fiction tomes on the history of tobacco and the history of alcohol, which I'll definitely be putting on my Christmas list.

His fluid prose really brings to life the facts, figures and tales that make up the book, and the lovely design means that it will make for a great gift - with a very classy cover and beautifully designed images to mark the start of each part, this is a book well worth having, and I'm sure any frustrated commuters in your life will be delighted to receive it.

Many thanks to the publishers for the copy.

It's very hard to think of another book in this vein - although I will definitely be looking at the author's other books. However, one other book about transportation that is both an excellent read and has a beautiful design, is Underground Overground: A Passenger's History of the Tube by Andrew Martin

Buy Rush Hour by Iain Gately at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rush Hour by Iain Gately at

Buy Rush Hour by Iain Gately at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Rush Hour by Iain Gately at


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