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Cincinnati Subway: History of Rapid Transit, The (OH) (Images of America) Paperback – May 21, 2003
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About the Author
Author Allen J. Singer is a lifelong railroad fan. He harbors an interest in Cincinnati's rich history, particularly in the stories of its rapid-transit past, which includes streetcars, interurbans, inclined planes, the canal, and the subway tunnels.
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In particular, Singer covers the construction and decline of the Miami & Erie Canal, once Cincinnati's lifeline for trade with the north, mutating from little more than an open sewer to the central focus of converting it into part of an elaborate subway system by covering the old canal, excavations, and exploiting natural limestone tunnels created by the last ice age runoff.
Offering a wealth of photos and lithographs, Singer has produced a wonderful little template of what in my experience is one of the more magical, interesting, and culturally rich cities of the early 19th century's Midwest.
With reference to writing style and layout, I rate this book as top shelf in my collection and offer kudos to both Singer and his photographer, Suzanne Fleming for providing us with an enlightening and enjoyable peek into Cincinnati's "Queen City" legacy, and unique past in its role during western expansion.
LISTEN Media, Inc.
The various ideas of the Cincinnatti city planners, I think they might have proven right, correct, nevertheless those plans were surpassed by other developments, throughout society, because of which, subways in Cincinnatti got obsolete before their wheels ever saw one piece of track layed.
The very proposition to emphasize on a Cincinnatti subway system, to get people out of tenements, into suburban homes, also lowered the need for a transit system. Along with the success of the automobile in pre and post war American society. Especially the fact of the availability of 'consumer-auto traffic' is the final blow to Cincinnatti subway transit.
This booklet is out of nice series. Well written, lots of photos, here and there, photo texts interfere or interrupt the main text. It's not that much of a problem, I personally think, it doesn't always look nice. Furthermore, I love this book for its content.
The clear, vivid prose and the wealth of photos and illustrations work together beautifully to put readers into the historical context, where we feel the hope and disappointment of those who sacrificed so much in the attempt to create a subway system for Cincinnati. It is impossible to read this compelling book without wondering "What if?" and realizing that the political games that prevented subway completion then still exist today.