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The Lost Subways of North America

A Cartographic Guide to the Past, Present and What Might Have Been
Written and Illustrated by Jake Berman


"Packed with fascinating histories and tons of absorbing information – ever wonder why elevated trains went out of style, or why monorails just don’t work? – the book is a lively and compelling examination of how mass transit has succeeded and failed across the continent."

The Guardian

"Wholly immersive historical accounts of 23 of the most significant subway/light-
rail systems in the U.S. and Canada. ... Offers fresh insights into how large cities can—or don’t—work."

Booklist (starred review)

"Exquisitely illustrated."

Publishers Weekly

"With its collection of beautiful custom maps designed by Berman himself, the book also doubles as a travel guide for the country’s phantom pasts and alternate futures."

Strong Towns

“Berman’s lively history of American subway debates takes us beyond the usual nostalgia of so much writing on the topic. It helps us to see how our ancestors’ values and motivations created the infrastructure we have, and gives us the courage to make better choices now.”

—Jarrett Walker, author of Human Transit

“It is as much a critique of the rise and fall of industrial cities as it is a history of failed transit schemes, for which it should become recommended reading for anyone interested in the effects of unbridled capitalism, corrupt politics, and big egos on North American daily life.”

—Mark Ovenden, author of Transit Maps of the World

“A comprehensive and accessible history of a profoundly consequential and underexplored cultural event. It makes you wonder at what was lost.”

—Angie Schmitt, author of Right of Way

“Berman’s many exceptional maps are provocations worth thousands of words each, conveying a history of relative transportation abundance in the U.S. There is no other book on public transportation like it.”

—Steven Higashide, author of Better Buses, Better Cities

“Berman takes us on a whirlwind cartographic and textual tour of urban rail transit's lost lines and unbuilt extensions. While we can't go back and change history, Berman provides a clear vision of just how much was lost."

—Nicholas Dagen Bloom, author of The Great American Transit Disaster

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