Two Wheels Good: The History and Mystery of the Bicycle

by Jody Rosen is an engaging history of a relatively humble machine, the bicycle, written by someone who clearly loves cycling. Invented in Germany in 1817 by Baron Karl von Drais, the bicycle has been through many iterations but the basic mechanics have barely changed since the “safety bicycle” arrived in the 1880s. The bicycle inspired the Wright brothers to pursue flight, and spurred the feminist movement by liberating early 20thcentury women, but has also contributed to darker forces in history, from the spread of imperialism to the colonialist horror of rubber plantations in Africa and South America. As Rosen traces the bicycle around the world and across time, charting its impact on humanity, readers will enjoy the ride. (Non-Fiction)