DR. MEL'S MESSAGE - From my novels to my other projects, no telling what you will read. This is the only place you will get to read about how I developed a screenplay into a novel and what is the driving force. I will talk about many things from films to books to acting to producing. It really will depend on where my mind takes me. I hope you will join me on this journey.
Discover what The Ten Commandments of St Fiacre and the 10 Commandments of Road Safety are all about. Discover the lives of taxi drivers: hidden in plain sight, here, there, and everywhere - sometimes, invisible! Learn the history that created taxis, Hackney carriages, and all. Consider their urban setting with case studies and interviews from Milton Keynes. And, taxi drivers: who are they, where are they from, how did they get here? Trials, traumas, and triumphs. What is 'The job' what is 'The Knowledge.' What's new? All this, only on Uber! Earnings... and much more.
This book uncovers the hidden depths below simple urban living and then leads the reader into further inspiring knowledge about the 'real me' behind the taxi driver. Who would believe that an accurate, meticulous account of a down-to-earth subject like taxi drivers in Milton Keynes would lead into the deeper fathoms of the human soul and of what lies beyond? Your view of the familiar streets will be transformed!
A book from Ruth's Trilogy: Tales of the City, The Hidden Musicians, and The Hidden Lives of Taxi Drivers - with their focus on the City of Milton Keynes
Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite, 5 STARS The Hidden Lives of Taxi Drivers: A Question of Knowledge (Ethnographic Trilogy) by Ruth H Finnegan is a fascinating study concerning taxi drivers. In some ways, it is a love letter to them, complete with the history of taxis and other forms of transportation down through the ages, from the litter in China to modern-day Ubers. We get an inside view, with pictures, anecdotes, and illustrations, a thorough and entertaining immersion in the lives and culture of taxi drivers.
Finnegan takes a personable yet knowledgeable approach to the subject, with character studies of the people who may often appear invisible to us, like the taxi driver, but whose lives are intriguing, with struggles, hopes, and dreams just as we all have. For example, an immigrant comes to a new country to make a new or fresh start, to live the dream, having no idea that they too can offer so much to us by way of conversation, sharing life stories, and lending a listening and interested ear. One of my favorite parts is The Ten Commandments of Road Safety. Whether you've ridden in taxis on occasion or use them regularly, this book will help you gain a new appreciation for the men and women who sit behind the wheel and take you where you want to go.
On a personal note, as a legally blind person, I depend on professional drivers to get me here and there, so I relate to the concept of this book on that level. You can learn so much from talking to your drivers, and your day can be fuller as a result of these conversations. Conversely, you may find that you can brighten the driver's day. If you enjoy slice-of-life books on specific groups of people, do yourself a favor and look into The Hidden Lives of Taxi Drivers by Ruth H Finnegan.
Reviewed by Alex Ndirangu for Readers' Favorite 4 STARS We see them driving around as part of a line of moving vehicles or in traffic jams. We assume there is always one somewhere, whether at an airport, a station, or a street corner. Taxis are a necessary and expected part of urban life. While no one seems to have considered taking a detailed look at the intriguing subject of the lives of taxi drivers, Ruth Finnegan has been interested in exploring their individuality for a long time. In her book The Hidden Lives of Taxi Drivers: A Question of Knowledge (Ethnographic Trilogy), Finnegan navigates us through the seemingly invisible world of taxi drivers and their working conditions.
This book provides a global perspective on taxi drivers' lives and their stories, as well as the cultural, economic, and personal contexts in which they work. It also examines some rarely considered aspects of taxi drivers' experiences, particularly their interaction with passengers in an intimate space during a short, shared journey. Ruth Finnegan also takes the reader through the history of the modern taxi industry and its drivers. I liked the way that the author included a series of images that depicts the evolution of taxis. This book helped me to view taxi driving from an angle that I had never considered before. The Hidden Lives of Taxi Drivers is an unusual and memorable read, and I enjoyed every aspect. It will appeal to anyone who has a taxi driver in their family. It can also be a gift that will make any taxi driver feel appreciated for their work.
GOODREADS FIVE STARS ****** Wow! This book took me by complete surprise.
The author, Ruth H Finnegan--an anthropologist and novelist--has shared a very intriguing documentary through this book. The book starts with Ruth briefing us on how this whole journey started--how from just casually travelling in taxis, she started taking notes and how it connected with her research interests and resulted in a bigger project.
The research and narrative is extremely thorough and the writing is engaging. It takes readers from introducing them to the history of the emergence of taxis to a preview of the lives of taxi drivers. The book was nothing less than fascinating. It made me ask myself some deeper questions and made me look at life in a different way.
Really a great read. Stays with you long after you turn the last page. Will definitely keep my eyes peeled for more books by this author, irrespective of the genre.
How often do we, as humans, overlook the ordinary? Most of the time. Because the ordinary surrounds us, we do not investigate or pay attention. Ruth H. Finnegan has written The Hidden Lives of Taxi Drivers to share information about a universal and common sight. Taxis and their drivers are everywhere. Where do the drivers come from? What type of people are they? Read this book and find out the demographics of this interesting group. Many think taxi drivers are unintelligent, but when you realize the vast amount of knowledge required to get their license, you will understand how intelligent they are. Ruth does an in-depth analysis of these drivers who, in many ways, are a city's backbone. Transportation for hire has been part of history for hundreds of years. Reading this book will cause you to look at taxi drivers in a new light.
Ruth H. Finnegan's documentation of the lives—professional and personal—of taxi drivers opens up a new field of anthropological study. Many different studies can be launched based on The Hidden Lives of Taxi Drivers. This study starts with a general history of transportation for hire, then goes on to discover the drivers' personal lives. Drivers have a code of honor and conduct that is impeccable. They work hard and earn a decent living. For many, driving a taxi is a second job to provide extra for their family. Most drivers are from other countries, trying to improve their situation and station in life. After reading this book, you will find a new appreciation for what is normally seen as the mundane. Readers Favorite
If roads are considered the bloodline of a country's economy, taxi drivers must be the blood cells that help people reach their destinations, ensuring the smooth running of the country. In The Hidden Lives of Taxi Drivers, Ruth H. Finnegan delves into the world of taxis and taxi drivers and showcases their cultural, demographical, and economic impact on any given city or town. Starting from the history of professional travel without motor engines from a wide array of cultures around the world to the modern age of Uber, the book contains many different aspects of private travel, ending with personal conversations with real-life taxi drivers who immigrated to England in search of a better life for themselves and their families. Pikasho Deka, Readers' Favorite
Ruth Finnegan was born on the last day of 1933 in Derry, Northern Ireland, the eldest child of Dr. Thomas Finnegan, Professor of Classics and President of Magee College. Largely brought up in Derry, she spent most of the war years in Donegal, 13 months of it in a small cottage in a 'gentle' (faerie) wood, an experience vividly described in her mother's entrancing 'Reaching for the Fruit' and her own semi-autobiographical novel, 'Black Inked Pearl.' This had a lasting influence on her life. In order to avoid an upbringing tainted by Ulster religious divisions, on their return to Derry in 1945 her parents sent her to a Quaker school in York (the Mount) where the experience of memorizing and repeating daily 'texts' from the Bible and other literature, shaped much of her future writing, most directly in her monograph Why do we quote? and her novel Black Inked Pearl. This was followed by four joyous years (1952-56) at Somerville College Oxford, again reflected in the novel, in the delightful study of classics (a degree that then combined literature, history, and philosophy). After two years teaching at Malvern Girls College she decided to return to the intellectual life but this time, much though she would always love the Greek and Roman cultures, to follow her instinct, to widen her study to include learning about other cultures. She chose to focus on Africa and completed first the postgraduate Oxford Diploma and B.Litt in Anthropology, then fieldwork (1960-61, 1963-4) on storytelling among the Limba speakers of Northern Sierra Leone (her manuscript field notes are deposited in the archives of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London). She completed her D.Phil in 1963, supported by Nuffield College, under the celebrated anthropologist E. E. Evans-Pritchard. Immediately after her marriage in 1963 to David John Murray, grandson of Sir James Murray, the first editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, she accompanied her husband to the University College of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland in the then Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and from there to the more democratic if the conflict-ridden setting of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria (1965-69) where their three daughters were born. From there, she and her husband were recruited as founding members of the academic staff of the Open University where, apart from three years at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji and Ruthm 1989, and in the wonderful setting of the University of Texas at Austin, they spent the rest of their careers. They are now both Emeritus Professors and still research active. They have five grandchildren and live, write and talk in Old Bletchley, Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, just round the corner from the famous Bletchley Park.