Bicycle: The History

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Product Details

Yale University Press
Publish Date
7.1 X 0.9 X 10.0 inches | 2.37 pounds
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About the Author

David V. Herlihy is a historian and freelance writer. He has been interested in bicycle technology since his days as a member of the Harvard Cycling Club, and for the past decade he has researched extensively the invention and early development of the bicycle. His work has been featured on National Public Radio and Voice of America and in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, and Historic Preservation. In 1999 Herlihy received the McNair History Award from the Wheelmen, the preeminent American association of antique bicycle collectors. He lives in Hull, Massachusetts.


"Profusely and charmingly illustrated."--Richard Eder, Boston Sunday Globe

"This extraordinarily researched work is not just for those interested in the history of the bicycle but for anyone who wants to follow the international history of an idea or invention. . . . Dozens of attractive images enrich the story and could be issued as a worthwhile book of their own. Highly recommended for all academic collections."--Library Journal

"Herlihy's book exhibits the rare combination of absolute scholarly rigor with an easily readable style, and it will appeal to anyone interested in the history of bicycling."--American Heritage of Invention & Technology

"[A] lovingly written and beautifully illustrated volume. . . . There's no need to be a cyclist to enjoy this ride."--David Schoonmaker, American Scientist

"Herlihy's weave of anecdotes and analysis adds up to a fascinating social history. . . . To Herlihy's and our good fortune, the rise of the bicycle also coincided with the golden age of illustration. Herlihy and Yale University Press have taken full advantage of this fact. The author's prose is brought to life by the extraordinary and plentiful period photographs and illustrations. Bicycle is a handsome and visually pleasing volume."--Alden Mudge,

"The author loves his subject. And who can blame him? My middling Rockhopper is a fantastic machine, and so is your bike. If you have any doubt, read David Herlihy's fine book."--Tod Neff, Canon City Daily Camera

"A fascinating historical tale of the two-wheeler. . . . Visually stimulating. . . . Great for the bicycle aficionado or anyone who loves a highly detailed read."--Carla Resnick, Chicago News and Review

"An authoritative and graceful tale of the first 200-odd years of two-wheeled transportation. . . . Mr. Herlihy has traced the bicycle's family tree with a thoroughness reminiscent of Laura Hillenbrand and her thoroughbred, Seabiscuit. . . . Bicycle is a good read for all and a must for the cyclist's home library."--Joe Simnacher, Dallas Morning News

"This is a book that should fascinate any reader who cares about well-researched, well-written, beautifully illustrated history, especially the history of human transportation. . . . Bicycle . . . is compulsively readable."--Steve Weinberg, Denver Post

"Well-written, lavishly illustrated."--Dennis Lythgoe, Deseret Morning News

"[A] definitive colorful history. . . . It's a richly told and deeply human story, abundantly illustrated with fascinating photos and engravings."--E-The Environmental Magazine

"Get inspired about biking with the recently published, Bicycle. This beautiful book is a lively, historical account of the bicycle, richly illustrated to provide interest in the topic for all ages in the family. You'll want to keep it off the shelf and on your coffee table for easy reference and enjoyment."--Donna Erickson, King Features Syndicate

"[An] elegant book. . . . The book is a kind of tour de bicycle and takes the reader along for a great ride, from the early years to the successes of Lance Armstrong. . . . One can enjoy the book as social history or as a history of our mechanical advances. Or one can just enjoy the hundreds of colorful prints and photos. . . . We've come a long way in a couple of centuries, and this fine book tells all."--Charles Stephen, Lincoln (Nebraska) Journal-Star

"Accessible, thorough, and genuinely enjoyable. . . . Nothing less than superb."--Evan P. Schneider, Matter

"Far from a dry tome, Bicycle is an intriguing story complemented with hundreds of photos and illustrations."--Bruce Buckley, MetroSports New York

Winner of the 2004 Award for Excellence in the History of Science sponsored by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers

Winner of the 2005 Sally Hacker Prize sponsored by the Society for the History of Technology

"If you could only own one book on bicycle history, Bicycle is it. David's account is not only thorough and accurate, but offers a great read to both the aficionado and those new to the bicycle world. A great addition to anyone's library."--Jill DiMauro, Owner Proteus Bicycles, "Bicycles through the Ages" hands on mobile bicycle exhibit

"The bicycle's history is rife with confusion and myth, so it's wonderful to have David Herlihy's thoroughly researched and delightfully written account to set the record of this remarkable and important invention straight."--Jim Langley, Cycling Writer

"David Herlihy is a widely recognized expert on the history of the bicycle, and this book offers the most comprehensive account to date of the bicycle and its development from a novelty for the elite to transportation for the masses. Frequently wry and always intelligent, Herlihy takes us on a marvelous tour of the bicycle's fascinating history."--Peter Joffre Nye, U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame and co-author of The Lance Armstrong Performance Program

"Bicycle is a fascinating book. David Herlihy is a true historian, and he has uncovered a stunning amount of new material about the history of the bicycle--at times it reads like a detective story."--David Gordon Wilson, professor, MIT and co-author, Bicycling Science, and Human-Powered Vehicles