The Immortal Class: Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power

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Random House Publishing Group, Jul 2, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 352 pages
4 Reviews
Travis Hugh Culley came to Chicago to work and live as an artist. He knew he'd have to struggle, but he found that his struggle meant more than hard work and a taste for poverty. In becoming a bike messenger, he found a sense of community and fulfillment and a brotherhood of like-minded individualists. He rode like a postmodern cowboy across the city's landscape; he passed like a shadow through its soaring office towers; he soared like a falcon through the roaring chaos of the multilayered streets of Chicago. He became an invisible man in society, yet at the same time its most intimate observer. In one of the most dangerous jobs on dry land, he found freedom.

In The Immortal Class, Culley takes us in-side the heart and soul of an urban icon the bicycle messenger. In describing his own history and those of his peers, he evokes a classic American maverick, deeply woven into the fabric of society from the pits of squalor to the highest reaches of power and privilege yet always resolutely, exuberantly outside. And he celebrates a culture that eschews the motorized vehicle: the cult of human power.

The Immortal Class, Culley's vivid evocation of a bicycle messenger's experience and philosophy, sheds a compelling light on the way human beings relate to one another and to the cities we inhabit. Travis Hugh Culley's voice is at once earthy and soaringly poetic a Gen-X Tom Joad at hyperspeed. The Immortal Class is a unique personal and political narrative of a cyclist's life on the street.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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User Review  - echaika - LibraryThing

This is an amazing read. Culley doesn't just tell us what it's like being a bike messenger and its attendant dangers and pain, although he does do that. But, he writes lyrically and passionately about ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - astompa - LibraryThing

If you want to be a bike messenger and have romanticized the work or the lifestyle, read this book. Bike messengers' lives are pretty bad. They have to ride every day in any weather, they get hurt ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
FREEDOM IN THE AMERICAN CITY
TORSO AN XER┬S PATH TO POLITICS
BETWEEN THE CLIFF AND THE BANK
ALLEY CAT OF SICKNESS AND SUCCESS
AMBUSH
REQUIEM FOR THE WORKING
Photo Credits
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Travis Hugh Culley, a director and playwright, has worked as a bike messenger in Philadelphia and Chicago, where he currently lives.

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