Recent Books — Transit, Paying for the Party, 1491
Trains, Buses, People: An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit by Christof Spieler. Oh I love maps, and this book is chock full of them, and a great overview of transit in the US. It is easy to focus just on your community and not see the big picture, this really helps to provide context. If you just read Seattle papers, you’d think Seattle is screwing up transit constantly, but this book suggests Seattle is doing a decent job at building out an effective system.
Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality by Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton. This book intrigues and aggravates me. Which means it is worth reading and thinking about. A pretty damning takedown of the mainstream college education experience. It doesn’t line up with my own experience — but I saw signs of this dark side, and maybe I just lived in ignorance due to my focus and my advantages heading into college.
1491 by Charles Mann. Great exploration of the civilizations in America before the arrival of the Europeans. I don’t think I realized just how dramatic the die off due to European diseases was, nor how as a result, the world lost cultures and civilizations that rivaled those of Asia. Sobering, sad.