Margaret Guroff

The Mechanical Horse

Margaret Guroff

Talk: The Mechanical Horse

Margaret Guroff visited Google's office in Cambridge, MA to discuss "The Mechanical Horse: How the Bicycle Reshaped American Life". The book reveals how the bicycle transformed American life. As bicycling caught on in the 19th century, many of the country's rough, rutted roads were paved for the first time, laying a foundation for the interstate highway system. Cyclists were among the first to see the possibilities of self-directed, long-distance travel, and some of them (including Henry Ford) went on to develop the automobile. Women shed their cumbersome Victorian dresses—as well as their restricted gender roles—so they could ride. And doctors recognized that aerobic exercise actually benefits the body, which helped to modernize medicine.

Margaret Guroff

Margaret Guroff is a magazine editor. She is also the editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick, an online annotation of Herman Melville's classic novel. She teaches writing at the Johns Hopkins University.

The Mechanical Horse: How the Bicycle Reshaped American Life

Margaret Guroff demonstrates that the bicycle's story is really the story of a more mobile America—one in which physical mobility has opened wider horizons of thought and new opportunities for people in all avenues of life.

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