Driving With Strangers

Jon Purkis


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Manchester University Press
1 February 2022
ISBN: 9781526160041
312 pages

From the publisher

At a time of climate crisis, isolation and social breakdown, Driving with strangers is a manifesto to alter how we think about our place in the world. Veteran hitchhiker and lifelong aficionado of hitchhiking culture, Purkis journeys through the history of hitchhiking to explore the unique opportunities for cooperation, friendship, sustainability and openness that it represents.

Join Purkis on the kerbside, in search of Woody Guthrie as he examines the politics of the travelling song, deep on a Russian hitch-hiking expedition, or considering the politics of travel and risk on the 'Highway of Tears' in British Columbia, Canada. The reader is taken on a panoramic road trip through a century of hitchhiking across different decades, countries and continents.

Purkis, a self-styled 'vagabond sociologist', is the perfect passenger to accompany you on a journey away from isolation, social distancing, closed borders and into a better understanding of why and how strangers can enrich our lives.