The History of Speed: The Quest To Go Faster, from the Dawn of the Motor Car to the Speed of Sound

Firefly. . Sept. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9780228103547. $29.95. REF
Roach (The Supercar Book: The Complete Guide to the Machines That Make Our Jaws Drop) focuses on “the complex psychology of moving quickly” and the evolution of vehicles (primarily automobiles; occasionally three-wheelers or watercraft), some of which have reached land speeds in excess of 750 mph. Covering topics like the early speeding ticket (delivered in 1896, by bicycle, to a driver doing 8 mph in a 2 mph zone), the gentlemen racers of the 1920s, and the future of speed, Roach mixes high-octane storytelling with science and hundreds of photographs. Tempering the thrills with reality, he points out that many key figures had their lives cut short in their pursuit of speed records.
VERDICT Fascinating fare for racers, drivers, car buffs, and historians. Likely to see use in most libraries.
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