Each working day 500 million people across the planet experience the miracle and misery of commuting. Whether undertaken by car, bus, train or bicycle, the practice shapes our days and creates a time and a space for a surprisingly diverse range of activities. In RUSH HOUR, Iain Gately traces the past, present and future of commuting, from the age of Dickens to the potential of the driverless car. He examines the contrasting experiences of commuters in Britain and elsewhere in the world: from the crush-loaded salarymen of the Tokyo metro to the road-rage afflicted middle managers of America. Notwithstanding its occasional traumas, commuting emerges as a positive aspect of modern life. It has dictated the growth of cities; been proving ground for new technologies; and given countless people freedom of movement and the opportunity to improve their lives.