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On the Grid A Plot of Land, An Average Neighborhood, and the Systems that Make Our World Work


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Rodale Books


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1609611381

9781609611385

256 Pages

$15.99

CAD18.50

Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy
In our daily lives, we’re surrounded by wires, pipes, utility poles, cell phone towers, and a myriad of other infrastructure that facilitate almost everything we do. Even though these systems are essential, when was the last time you gave them much thought? Not only is infrastructure shrouded in mystery, much of it is woefully out of date—bridges are falling, public transportation is overcrowded, and most roads haven’t been updated since the 1950s. InOn the Grid, Scott Huler sets out to understand all of the systems that shape our society—from transportation, water, and garbage to the Internet coming through our cable lines.
He begins his entertaining, fascinating journey at his house in Raleigh, North Carolina, and travels everywhere from the inside of a storm water pipe to the sewers of ancient Rome. Each chapter follows one element of infrastructure back to its source. Huler visits power plants, watches new asphalt pavement being laid, and traces a drop of water backward from his faucet to the Gulf of Mexico. He reaches out to guides along the way, both the workers who operate these systems and the people who plan them.
A mesmerizing and hilarious narrative, On the Grid is filled with amazing insights, interviews, and stories that bring an overlooked but indispensable subject to life. You’ll never look at your day the same way again.

REVIEWS

Praise for On the Grid

"The first and most important step to living a sustainable life is understanding where you are and what is going on to keep you fed, worked and watered while being there. Scott Huler's fascinating account of his trips through the mesmerizingly crafted infrastructure that sustains our modern American lives gets us toward an understanding of a system that ought to be celebrated. Rather than make you try to get off the grid, On the Grid makes you want to cherish it, and maybe even pay for it, and you understand that to go off it is probably not possible at all."—Robert Sullivan, author of The Thoreau You Don't Know

Praise for Defining the Wind:

"[An] enchanting stroll through maritime and science history . . . [Huler is] a charming guide."—The New York Times Book Review

"Huler writes with self-deprecating wit, and . . . he captures the Beaufort scale’s 'open-hearted intellectual decency.'"—The New Yorker

"[A] reminder of why we read science books. . . . Read Huler and you’ll pay more attention to the air moving through your backyard, fluttering leaves, rattling windows . . . compelling, powerful."—The Boston Globe

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

Scott Huler is the author of six books including Defining the Wind and No Man’s Lands. His essays and stories have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, and other newspapers nationwide.  He has been a staff writer for the Philadelphia Daily News and the Raleigh News & Observer and a staff reporter and producer for Nashville Public Radio.  His award-winning radio work has been heard on "All Things Considered" and "Day to Day" on National Public Radio and on "Marketplace" and "Splendid Table" on American Public Media. He lives

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BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


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  • Scott Huler is the author of six books including Defining the Wind and No-Man’s Lands. Widely published in newspapers nationwide, he has also won awards for his work on NPR. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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