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How did we lose the right to walk, and what implications does that have for the strength of our communities, the future of democracy, and the pervasive loneliness of individual lives?

Driven by a combination of a car-centric culture and an insatiable thirst for productivity and efficiency, we’re spending more time sedentary and alone than we ever have before. The loss of walking as an individual and a community act has the potential to destroy our deepest spiritual connections, our democratic society, our neighborhoods, and our freedom. But we can change the course of our mobility. And we need to. Delving into a wealth of science, history, and anecdote — from our deepest origins as hominins to our first steps as babies, to universal design and social infrastructure, A Walking Life shows exactly how walking is essential, and how deeply reliant our brains and bodies are on this simple pedestrian act — and how we can reclaim it.

Reviews of A Walking Life

“From walking as a form of protest, to walking across borders to escape conflict, Malchik reconnects readers to the pleasure and privilege of putting one foot in front of the other. … the overall message is eye-opening, revealing the somber reality of our car-centric world but also inspiring a desire to reconnect with our primeval desire to wander on our own two feet.”
Booklist review

“If we walked more often, we’d feel better, think more creatively, suffer less depression, have more connections as a community, breathe cleaner air, and have a more profound understanding of our place on the planet. Though it may be too late to turn back the clock on cars (Malchik owns one), she makes a convincing plea for better balance.”
Kirkus review

“No wonder, then, so many writers have, of late, taken to the page to give encomiums to walking. Few do it as warmly as Antonia Malchik, who reminds us in “A Walking Life” that walking is about so much more than movement—our footfalls, she demonstrates, are about longing, freedom, connection, belonging, and home. … Reading her book is tantamount to taking a walk with a generous friend whose curiosity and hope fills you with the compulsion to walk and open yourself to the world and its infinite stories.”
Garnette Cadogan, Literary Hub

“A fascinating chapter on walking as social capital is especially noteworthy, pointing out how obstructing traffic may be the only option when exercising the right to assemble. VERDICT Readers interested in green living and libraries that support ecology and urban studies programs will want this far-reaching book about how to maintain a sustainable lifestyle.”
–Library Journal

When Antonia Malchik talks about the human connections that arise from walking, listeners can hear the warmth in narrator Eliza Foss’s voice. Her tone stays personal as Malchik recounts her experiences watching her kids learn to walk. … Even when the scope is global, Foss infuses the narration with feeling enough to let listeners share the author’s lament over a lost shared society.”
–J.A.S. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Interviews with Antonia Malchik

Culture and Complexity, Mountain & Prairie podcast, August 2021

Walking Can Be Great Medicine, Especially During a Pandemic, WUKY radio Lexington, July 2020

Walking as a Practice, America Walks webinar and Q&A, July 2020

The Sidewalk Barons, Talking Headways podcast, Streetsblog USA, October 2019

How Taking a Walk Can Better Your World, Wisconsin Public Radio, May 2019

Walking Together, Above the Fog podcast, July 2019

A Walking Life, Groks Science Radio Show and Podcast, May 2019

Walking Wisdom, Truth & Dare podcast with Camden Hoch, August 2019

Reclaim Your Health and Freedom, Mindfulness Mode podcast, June 2019

A Walking Life, The Mountain Life, KPCW radio Park City, June 2019

Positive Parenting podcast, June 2019

KGNU radio Boulder, June 2019

My Strength Is My Story with Antonia Malchik, Create Your Now podcast, May 2019

Your Brain on Two Legs, Talking Headways podcast, Streetsblog USA, September 2015​