I have mixed feelings about Sue Macy’s Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way). On the one hand, it was chock full of fascinating information, a significant portion of it visual. There are pictures, advertisements, magazine covers, newspaper articles, and statistics, among other things; in addition, the text has its own impressive allotment of fascinating information that was previously unknown to me. Wheels of Change is well researched and well worth your time.
I did, however, struggle at times with the sheer quantity of information on any given two page spread. When, in the course of reading the text, was I meant to study the visuals and read their captions and descriptions? I didn’t want to miss out on any of what was offered, and yet managing my informational input felt taxing. I’m tempted to say that ‘you have to know what material to use and what to trim,’ and yet–part of the charm of the book was the total immersion into the time and culture of the topic. I don’t know that I would choose to sacrifice any of what Macy included; I might have preferred a center inset with the visuals grouped together, but other readers might feel quite differently. Ultimately, it’s worth the read either way. Just be warned–brief though it may be, Wheels of Change most definitely wants a leisurely perusal to be fully appreciated.