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One nation under tarmac

Many Britons spend a twelfth of their lives driving, yet we barely examine the roads beneath our wheels. Now Joe Moran has told the story of a vast, unseen world

By Ian Irvine   June 2009

On Roads: A Hidden History By Joe Moran (Profile Books, £14.99)

Joe Moran is our leading expert on the infra-ordinary, or (as he wryly admits it is often known) “the bleeding obvious.” His first and wildly successful book, Queuing For Beginners: The Story of Daily Life from Breakfast to Bedtime, appeared in 2007 and dealt with many of the unremarkable and unremarked upon aspects of our lives, from the rise of the pop-up toaster to the politics of the sofa and the decline of the three-piece suite. Taking his cue from the Mass Observation project in the 1930s, Moran wants…

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