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Driving Spaces: A Cultural-Historical Geography of England's M1 Motorway

ISBN: 978-1-4443-5547-5
320 pages
July 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Driving Spaces: A Cultural-Historical Geography of England
Peter Merriman traces the social and cultural histories and geographies of driving spaces through an examination of the design, construction and use of England’s M1 motorway in the 1950s and 1960s.

  • A first-of-its-kind academic study examining the production and consumption of the landscapes and spaces of a British motorway
  • An interdisciplinary approach, engaging with theoretical and empirical work from sociology, history, cultural studies, anthropology and geography
  • Contains 38 high quality illustrations
  • Based on extensive, original archive work
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List of Figures.

Series Editors' Preface.

Acknowledgements.

1 Introduction: Driving Spaces.

Mobilities.

Driving, Space, Social Relations.

Driving, Landscape, Visuality.

Geographies of the Modern Road.

Contents of the Book.

2 Envisioning British Motorways.

Motoring and the Motor-Car Way, 1896-1930.

The German Autobahnen: The Politics and Aesthetics of a Nation's Roads.

Motorways for Britain? National Plans, National Defence.

Motorways, War and Reconstruction.

Motorways and the British Landscape.

3 Designing and Landscaping the M1.

Legislating and Campaigning: Towards a National Motorway Network.

Locating the M1: Regional Planning, Local Protests and the Authority of the Engineer.

Landscape Architecture and the Post-war, Modern Road.

'A New Look at the English Landscape': Landscape Architecture, Movement and the Aesthetics of a Modern Motorway.

Towards a Road Style: Service Areas in the Landscape.

'Cutting Holes in the Landscape': Britain's Motorway Signs.

4 Constructing the M1.

'Operation Motorway': Constructing the M1 Motorway.

Song of a Road: Folk Song, Working-Class Culture and the Labour of a Motorway.

5 Driving, Consuming and Governing the M1.

Motorway Driving, Embodiment, Competence.

'Motorway Madness': Driving, Governing, Expertise.

Motorway Modern: Consuming the M1.

Motorway Service Areas and the Motorist-Consumer.

Assessing the M1’s Performance: Cost-Benefi t Analysis, Scientifi c Experiments, Accidents.

6 Motorways and Driving since the 1960s.

The 'M1 Corridor'.

Motorways and 'the Environment'.

Dystopian and Marginal Landscapes?

Placeless Environments?

Placing the M1 in the Late Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries.

Appendix: Archival Sources.

Notes.

References.

Index.

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Peter Merriman is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. His research focuses on mobility and social theory, spaces of driving, and cultures of landscapes in twentieth century Britain. His work has been published in a range of edited collections and international journals, including Journal of Historical Geography, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Cultural Geographies and Theory, Culture and Society.
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  • Based on extensive and original archive work this book is a first-of-its-kind academic study examining the production and consumption of the landscapes and spaces of a British motorway
  • An interdisciplinary approach, engaging with theoretical and empirical work from sociology, history, cultural studies, anthropology and geography
  • Contains 38 high quality illustrations, based on extensive, original archive work
See More
"While I wish that he had synthesized his research in a strong conclusion, this criticism should not diminish the merits of the book. The empirical results and the study's framework deserve a firm place in the history of technology." (Technology & Culture, 1 January 2011)

"Merriman’s systematic, detailed and precisely documented description of the cultural context of the M1 will itself stand as a valuable documentary resource for researchers and students alike" (Area, December 2008)

"Thoroughly researched and full of rich … Driving Spaces presents the historical trajectory of the M1 Motorway through a series of cultural and political stages." (Journal of British Studies, October 2008)

“Merriman provides a fascinating perspective on the social and cultural aspects of driving and highways … in this multidisciplinary study. Includes … numerous references … .Recommended.” (Choice)

"This is a terrific analysis of the making of a mobile landscape. It does an excellent job of deciphering the multiple lineaments of fast, smooth motorized passages of, in this case, the making of the UK’s iconic M1."
John Urry, University of Lancaster

"The M1 has been with us for long enough for us to take it for granted and proceed (along it) as if it had always been there. Consequently it was ripe for just this kind of cultural historical study that reminds us it was once shockingly new, a less than certain enterprise and, ultimately, an astounding (and still evolving) construction in soil, concrete and guttering."
Eric Laurier, University of Edinburgh

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