- Series: Creating the North American Landscape
- Hardcover: 376 pages
- Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1 edition (February 8, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 080188246X
- ISBN-13: 978-0801882463
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,050,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro (Creating the North American Landscape) 1st Edition
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"Extensively researched, cleverly structured, and finely written, this book stands out for the way it provides an integral, comprehensive account of a key urban service."(Georg Leidenberger American Historical Review)
"In this superbly-written book, Zachary Schrag... explains how this achievement came about and what its impact is... A joy to read."(Gregory L. Thompson Technology and Culture)
"The author makes us privy to the thinking that went into the system's design."(Dennis Drabelle Washington Post Book World)
"Schrag does a thorough job with his subject."(Rachel DiCarlo Washington Times)
"A timely look at how the Metro got where it is today."(Civil Engineering)
"It's a fascinating look at a modern transit triumph."(Trains)
"A graceful, fact-packed history of the genesis, development, and current state of the Washington Metro system."(H-DC)
"The Great Society Subway is a great book for students of contemporary transit history."(Alexander D. Mitchell Railfan and Railroad)
"An excellent book... a welcome and readable addition to the literature of how we construct the societies we inhabit."(Alex Marshall Regional Plan Association Spotlight)
"An exhaustively researched, engagingly written study of the planning, designing, building, and operating of the Washington Metro."(Sy Adler Journal of American History)
From the Back Cover
Many residents and visitors rely on the Washington Metro, the rapid transit system that serves the District of Columbia and its suburbs. In the first comprehensive history of the Metro, Zachary M. Schrag tells the story of the Great Society Subway from its earliest rumblings to its emergence as the nation’s second-busiest rapid transit system.
Using extensive archival research as well as oral history, Schrag argues that the Metro can be understood only in the political context from which it was born: the Great Society liberalism of the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. He scrutinizes the project from its earliest days, including general planning, routes, station architecture, funding decisions, land-use impacts, and the behavior of subway riders. The story of the Metro sheds light on the development of metropolitan Washington, postwar urban policy, and the promises and limits of rail transit in American cities.
"A fascinating look at a modern transit triumph."―Trains
"The author makes us privy to the thinking that went into the system's design."―Washington Post Book World
"Extensively researched, cleverly structured, and finely written, this book stands out for the way it provides an integral, comprehensive account of a key urban service."―American Historical Review
"[Schrag] shows the interrelationship of citizens' hopes and fears, visionaries' ideas, politicians' need to succeed, engineers' practical requirements, and the ebb and flow of affecting events over time. It is a fascinating story well told... a love story by an historian for his city and its people."―Journal of the American Planning Association
"This is a remarkable book. It has drama, it has pathos, it has passion, it has literary grace."―Journal of Transport History
Top customer reviews
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Instead, it is very readable, and many aspects of how the Nation changed culturally show up in the book. It covers the design of the system, and the construction challenges, but perhaps more interestingly it covers the cultural and political history of putting the system in place...something I doubt could be initiated today. The place of people of color, people with disabilities, people from economically disadvantaged areas, and women each figure prominently in the story, as does the continuing battle between the road and mass transit for government funding and rights-of-way.
Recommended reading for those who not only are interested in the actual construction, but also those who want to know more about the dysfunction that often attends the hyper-political atmosphere of nearly anything done in Washington, DC
If you live in DC and are genuinely interested in public transit, read this.