Death Rode the Rails: American Railroad Accidents and Safety, 1828-1965

Death Rode the Rails: American Railroad Accidents and Safety, 1828-1965

by Mark Aldrich
     
 

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For most of the nineteenth and much of the twentieth centuries, railroads dominated American transportation. They transformed life and captured the imagination. Yet by 1907 railroads had also become the largest cause of violent death in the country, that year claiming the lives of nearly twelve thousand passengers, workers, and others. In Death Rode the Rails

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Overview

For most of the nineteenth and much of the twentieth centuries, railroads dominated American transportation. They transformed life and captured the imagination. Yet by 1907 railroads had also become the largest cause of violent death in the country, that year claiming the lives of nearly twelve thousand passengers, workers, and others. In Death Rode the Rails Mark Aldrich explores the evolution of railroad safety in the United States by examining a variety of incidents: spectacular train wrecks, smaller accidents in shops and yards that devastated the lives of workers and their families, and the deaths of thousands of women and children killed while walking on or crossing the street-grade tracks.

A fascinating account of one of America's most important industries and its dangers, Death Rode the Rails will appeal to scholars of economics and the history of transportation, technology, labor, regulation, safety, and business, as well as to railroad enthusiasts.

"A masterful study of the complex evolution of railroad safety."— American Historical Review

"Students of rail safety, and today's Class I railroad managers, need to read this volume."— Trains

"Aldrich has created a masterpiece. His research is extensive, drawing on a rich variety of obscure yet relevant sources."— Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

"One of the first large-scale scholarly studies of railroad safety in America... I recommend this book without qualifications."— Railroad History

"A thought-provoking and well-grounded contribution to the history of American economic development."— Journal of American History

"Pioneering... A central message of Aldrich's book is that 'little accidents' played a crucial though until now largely hidden role in the gradual evolution of a risk society."— Technology and Culture

"A work of merit... essential reading for historians of transport safety, business, and technology."— Journal of Transport History

"Impressive and thoroughly researched... Demonstrates how railroad safety evolved from the intersection of market pressures, technology, and public sentiment."— Journal of Southern History

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Scitech Book News

A well-made book such as this one stands out as a rare exception.

Scale Rails

A fascinating account of one of America's most important industries and its dangers.

Trains - Ray Weart

Students of rail safety, and today's Class I railroad managers, need to read this volume.

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society - H. Roger Grant

Aldrich has created a masterpiece. His research is extensive, drawing on a rich variety of obscure yet relevant sources.

History: Reviews of New Books - Jack W. Traylor

Aldrich... has done an excellent and thorough job of explaining and analyzing the evolution of rail safety over nearly two hundred years.

Railroad History - Imre E. Quastler

One of the first large-scale scholarly studies of railroad safety in America... I recommend this book without qualifications.

Enterprise and Society - Russell D. Jones

An excellent narrative of the evolution of public and industry focus on industrial safety.

Business History Review - Marc J. Stern

Important new book... A significant contribution to the study of both industrial safety and consumer safety as exemplified by one of the most important industries in our nation's history.

Journal of American History - James L. Hunt

A thought-provoking and well-grounded contribution to the history of American economic development.

Technology and Culture - Bill Luckin

Pioneering... A central message of Aldrich's book is that 'little accidents' played a crucial though until now largely hidden role in the gradual evolution of a risk society.

Journal of Transport History - Mike Esbester

A work of merit... Essential reading for historians of transport safety, business, and technology.

Journal of Southern History - James B. McSwain

Impressive and thoroughly researched... Demonstrates how railroad safety evolved from the intersection of market pressures, technology, and public sentiment.

Annals of Iowa - John Williams-Searle

Aldrich has written the field-defining work on railroad safety... An important corrective to the simplistic notion that railroad companies wanted nothing to do with safety before the era of federal regulation.

American Historical Review - James W. Ely

A masterful study of the complex evolution of railroad safety.

James W. Ely

A masterful study of the complex evolution of railroad safety.

H. Roger Grant

Aldrich has created a masterpiece. His research is extensive, drawing on a rich variety of obscure yet relevant sources.

James B. McSwain

Impressive and thoroughly researched... Demonstrates how railroad safety evolved from the intersection of market pressures, technology, and public sentiment.

Ray Weart

Students of rail safety, and today's Class I railroad managers, need to read this volume.

Jack W. Traylor

Aldrich... has done an excellent and thorough job of explaining and analyzing the evolution of rail safety over nearly two hundred years.

Imre E. Quastler

One of the first large-scale scholarly studies of railroad safety in America... I recommend this book without qualifications.

Russell D. Jones

An excellent narrative of the evolution of public and industry focus on industrial safety.

Marc J. Stern

Important new book... A significant contribution to the study of both industrial safety and consumer safety as exemplified by one of the most important industries in our nation's history.

James L. Hunt

A thought-provoking and well-grounded contribution to the history of American economic development.

Bill Luckin

Pioneering... A central message of Aldrich's book is that 'little accidents' played a crucial though until now largely hidden role in the gradual evolution of a risk society.

Mike Esbester

A work of merit... Essential reading for historians of transport safety, business, and technology.

John Williams-Searle

Aldrich has written the field-defining work on railroad safety... An important corrective to the simplistic notion that railroad companies wanted nothing to do with safety before the era of federal regulation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801894022
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
1,135,819
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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