If, as so many writers have insisted, walking is thinking, then its relative rarity as an elective mode of travel would seem to explain a lot about our current crises.1 And yet we should not single out our own Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World for censure, for if walking is thinking, it is of a kind that has been avoided—and even held in something like contempt—for two and a half centuries.2 In his famous pedestrian journey across England in 1782, for example, Carl Moritz, a German minister, reports being derided by innkeepers and constantly offered assistance from passing coachmen. He concludes, “A traveller on foot in this country seems to be considered as a sort of wild man, or...

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