Jake's blog

Deleted Scenes from The Lost Subways: Denver

Deleted Scenes from The Lost Subways: Denver

Now that The Lost Subways of North America is out, I'm posting deleted chapters.  The first one that I cut was Denver.The Great Denver Streetcar StrikeThe streetcar and interurban industries were behemoths in the early 20th century, employing 300,000 workers in the early 1920s.  This also made them ground zero for the labor strife that characterized the period.  The best place to illustrate this type of management-labor strife of the period is Denver, Colorado. There, a three-way battle between the Denver Tramway, the Denver city government, and the streetcar workers’ union ultimately culminated in the declaration of martial law.The Tramway...

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The book is out.

The book is out.

Today is book launch day for The Lost Subways of North America.  I can now officially say that my decade-plus project to map North America's lost transit is at an end. (Obligatory plug: the book is on all major retailers - Amazon, Bookshop.org, Barnes + Noble, Indigo, etc., as well as on my website.)  The next thing I'll be doing is the book tour - a list of events is here.  I would love to meet up with people if we're in the same city at the same time. (Thankfully, my day job is mostly remote.)While I'm on tour for...

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OMG. I HAVE MY COPY OF THE BOOK ON MY DESK. (if you ordered one, you'll get it in a few weeks)

OMG. I HAVE MY COPY OF THE BOOK ON MY DESK. (if you ordered one, you'll get it in a few weeks)

I now have my personal copy of The Lost Subways of North America sitting on my dinner table right now.  If you ordered a signed copy from me, I'll ship it in 4 weeks or so.  If you haven't ordered one yet, you can order one here. I am over the moon about this.

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Let's talk about what it takes to get a book published.

Let's talk about what it takes to get a book published.

The Lost Subways of North America is coming out in November, published by UChicago Press, and so I thought it useful to summarize for would-be authors just what it takes to get a book traditionally published, why traditional publishing takes so long, and to give a timeline of my experiences. I thought about self-publishing but decided against it; it's expensive to front all the money yourself for an illustrated book, and you really do need an established publisher behind you if you want to be taken seriously in a field as technical as this. I'm happy to talk to people...

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Let's talk about why American cities aren't kid-friendly.

Let's talk about why American cities aren't kid-friendly.

  BOTTOM LINE, UP FRONT: Part of it is because the rent is too damn high - but it's also because of failed urban design policies.Older folks in the US like to get nostalgic about the old days, because back then it was safe to let kids play outside without supervision.  My dad, who grew up in Boston in the 1950s and 1960s, regaled us with stories of how they used to go to the neighbors' houses and play stickball in the street. Older buildings still have these types of signs on them saying "no ball playing."  (The sign in...

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