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Taxi!

A Social History of the New York City Cabdriver

Graham Russell Gao Hodges

revised edition
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Why the cabdriver is the real victim of the false promises of Uber and the gig economy.

2007 Noteworthy Book in Industrial Relations and Labor Economics. Princeton University Industrial Relations Section.

Hailed in its first edition as a classic study of New York City's history and people, Graham Russell Gao Hodges's Taxi! is a remarkable evocation of the forgotten history of the taxi driver. This deftly woven narrative captures the spirit of New York City cabdrivers and their hardscrabble struggle to capture a piece of the American dream.

From labor unrest and racial strife to ruthless…

Why the cabdriver is the real victim of the false promises of Uber and the gig economy.

2007 Noteworthy Book in Industrial Relations and Labor Economics. Princeton University Industrial Relations Section.

Hailed in its first edition as a classic study of New York City's history and people, Graham Russell Gao Hodges's Taxi! is a remarkable evocation of the forgotten history of the taxi driver. This deftly woven narrative captures the spirit of New York City cabdrivers and their hardscrabble struggle to capture a piece of the American dream.

From labor unrest and racial strife to ruthless competition and political machinations, Hodges recounts this history through contemporary news accounts, Hollywood films, and the words of the cabbies themselves. A new preface recalls the author's five years of hacking in New York City in the early 1970s, and a new concluding chapter explores the rise of app-based ridesharing services with the arrival of companies like Uber and Lyft. Sharply criticizing the use of the independent contractor model that is the cornerstone of Uber and the gig economy, Hodges argues that the explosion of for-hire vehicles in Manhattan reversed decades of environmental anti-congestion efforts. He calls for a return to the careful regulations that governed taxicabs for decades and provided a modest yet secure living for cabbies.

Whether or not you've ever hailed a cab on Broadway, Taxi! provides a fascinating perspective on New York's most colorful emissaries.

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Taxi!

Graham Russell Gao Hodges

revised edition
Publication Date
Binding Type
Request Exam CopyRequest Review Copy
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Reviews

Reviews

Grab this cab! Its historian driver will take you on a fascinating spin around town, recalling a host of dramatic events and introducing an amazing array of cabbies past and present (including the astonishing number of movie stars who played taxi drivers on the big screen). Your perspective on cab rides—and New York City—will never be the same again.

You have to live in New York to know how critical taxis are to circulation in the great metropolis. But you do not have to live in New York to be fascinated by this unusual book, which gives a powerful human dimension to one of Gotham's most important subcultures.

Taxi! is not only lively and erudite social history, it is probably the best account of taximen that is ever to be written... The cabby is fortunate, however, to have found his sociological poet laureate in Graham Hodges. In the taxi trade, we would have called this fascinating trip in his gregarious company, 'a great fare.'

In this informative, solid history, Graham Russell Gao Hodges traces the story of the cabdrivers from 1907, when the first metered taxis appeared on New York streets, to the present.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
280
ISBN
9781421437798
Illustration Description
17 halftones
Table of Contents

Preface to the Revised Edition
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. The Creation of the Taxi Man, 1907-1920
2. Hack Men in the Jazz Age, 1920-1930
3. The Search for Order during the Depression, 1930-1940
4

Preface to the Revised Edition
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. The Creation of the Taxi Man, 1907-1920
2. Hack Men in the Jazz Age, 1920-1930
3. The Search for Order during the Depression, 1930-1940
4. Prosperity during Wartime, 1940-1950
5. The Creation of the Classic Cabby, 1950-1980
6. Unionization and Its Discontents, 1960-1980
7. The Lease Driver and Proletarian, 1980-2006
8. The Ridesharing Era, 2010-2019
Appendix. Data Tables
Notes
Essay on Sources
Index
Illustrations follow page XXX

Author Bio
Graham Russell Gao Hodges
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Graham Russell Gao Hodges

Graham Russell Gao Hodges, a former New York City cabdriver, is the Distinguished Fulbright Professor of History at Peking University and the George Dorland Langdon, Jr. Professor of History at Colgate University.