... isn’t quite in the class of its predecessor, but like all of Mr. Standage’s books, it is rewarding: the product of deep research, great intelligence and burnished prose. Moreover, he always comes up with offbeat and intriguing facts that I, for one, never knew ... The author makes his book a vehicle packed tightly with information about the car’s impact on history and society ... An unusually astute futurist, Mr. Standage offers observations about where we are now and where we might be heading that should be taken seriously ... It is rare that I encounter a nonfiction author whose prose is so elegant that it is worth reading for itself. Mr. Standage is a writer of this class, even if A Brief History of Motion isn’t top-grade Standage ... this book’s topics and themes might seem to many readers somewhat—pardon the pun—pedestrian.
... speckled with anecdotes, insights and surprises ... Standage’s survey of the early development of the motor car is swift but entertaining. He has a taste for comic disaster ... The US focus can be limiting ... Petrolheads might find the book slightly bloodless. There’s nothing on racing. So might environmentalists and health campaigners. Standage hardly mentions particulate emissions from cars, for instance, yet they are responsible for perhaps 400,000 deaths a year worldwide. But it is great fun — and utterly timely ... If we want to redesign the future, this book makes clear, the time to do it is now.
[Standage] offers a balanced overview of new options being explored: autonomous vehicles, ride-share apps, vehicle sharing, and integrated transit systems. All offer potential benefits, and all come with risks. Any new technology will have consequences we don’t foresee. This is a well-researched exploration of an urgent subject.