From Telegrapher to Titan: The Life of William C. Van Horne [NOOK Book]

Overview

  Winner of the 2005 Ottawa Book Award for Non-fiction , the 2005 University of British Columbia Award for Best Canadian Biography, and the Canadian Railroad Historical Association Award for Best Railway Book of the Year.



William Van Horne was one of North America’s most accomplished men. Born in Illinois in 1843, he became a prominent railway figure in the United States before coming to Canada in 1881 to become general manager of the fledgling Canadian Pacific Railway. Van Horne pushed through ...

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From Telegrapher to Titan: The Life of William C. Van Horne

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Overview

  Winner of the 2005 Ottawa Book Award for Non-fiction , the 2005 University of British Columbia Award for Best Canadian Biography, and the Canadian Railroad Historical Association Award for Best Railway Book of the Year.



William Van Horne was one of North America’s most accomplished men. Born in Illinois in 1843, he became a prominent railway figure in the United States before coming to Canada in 1881 to become general manager of the fledgling Canadian Pacific Railway. Van Horne pushed through construction of the CPR’s transcontinental line and went on to become company president. He also became one of Canada’s foremost financiers and art collectors, capping his career by opening Cuba’s interior with a railway.

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Editorial Reviews

Branchline - Bruce Ballantyne

Valerie Knowles has done an excellent job in describing the man and telling his story. The book is easy to read and, as in all good history books, includes a broad range of references. It is certainly well worth the read and is a must for anyone who wants to learn more about Van Horne.

Herbert H. Harwood

"Given the subject's significance... I think Indiana University Press has an opportunity... to fill an inexcusable void in both railroad and Canadian history." —Herbert H. Harwood, Jr., The New York, Westchester & Boston Railway: J. P. Morgan's Magnificent Mistake, (IUP, 2008)

Winnipeg Free Press - Graeme Voyer

This biography is a significant contribution to the history of Canadian transportation.

McGill News Alumni Quarterly - Andrew Mullins

Knowles has constructed an admirable biography of the railway titan ... providing a different perspective of the much-told story of the CPR, and also a portrait of Canada at the turn of the last century and the larger-than-life pioneers of Canadian transportation.

The Beaver - R.B. Fleming

... her biography will remain a good reference book for all aspects of Van Horne's life and career for a long time to come.

Rail Canadien

This book is a must for any student of Canadian railway history.

The Michigan Railfan

"While much has been written about the CPR's construction and early years of operation, there has been comparatively little recorded about the man who was such a key figure in its early history.This exhaustive volume by Valerie Knowles fills that void nicely." —The Michigan Railfan, Vol. 72#3, May-June 2011

NMRA Magazine

"In this volume, Valerie Knowles delivers a gripping account of this larger-than-life figure." —NMRA Magazine

From the Publisher
"While much has been written about the CPR's construction and early years of operation, there has been comparatively little recorded about the man who was such a key figure in its early history.This exhaustive volume by Valerie Knowles fills that void nicely." —The Michigan Railfan, Vol. 72#3, May-June 2011

"Given the subject's significance... I think Indiana University Press has an opportunity... to fill an inexcusable void in both railroad and Canadian history." —Herbert H. Harwood, Jr., The New York, Westchester & Boston Railway: J. P. Morgan's Magnificent Mistake, (IUP, 2008)

"In From Telegrapher to Titan, Valerie Knowles takes us back to an era of frenzied progress, a time of frontier mentality and old money, and shows us a titan amongst men, who rose from being a messenger boy to the Chairman of the Canadian Pacific Railway while becoming one of the foremost art patrons of his time as well as a devoted father and husband. Van Horne’s legacy is felt today—his signature forever etched upon the country in tracks, coast to coast." —Rail Canadien, September-October 2004, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"Knowles has... provided railroad enthusiasts with a thoroughgoing analysis, and her work is likely to appeal to many business and transportation historians as well." —Business History Review

Branchline
"For the most part, Van Horne was a remarkable person and for Canada a real hero that helped pull Canada together and settle the west. Valerie Knowles has done an excellent job in describing the man and telling his story. The book is easy to read and, as in all good history books, includes a broad range of references. It is certainly well worth the read and is a must for anyone who wants to learn more about Van Horne." —Bruce Ballantyne, Branchline, June 2005, reviewing a previous edition or volume

— Bruce Ballantyne

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459714601
  • Publisher: Dundurn Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2004
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 504
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Valerie Knowles is an Ottawa writer who has taught history and worked as an archivist. In addition to writing for newspapers, magazines, and federal government departments, she has published several non-fiction works, including Strangers at Our Gates: Canadian Immigration and Immigration Policy, 1540-1997. This is her third book for Dundurn Press.


Valerie Knowles is a journalist and writer who has published eleven non-fiction works. From Telegrapher to Titan: The Life of William C. Van Horne won the University of British Columbia Medal for Canadian Biography for 2004 and the City of Ottawa Non-Fiction Book Award for 2005. She lives in Ottawa.

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Table of Contents

Preface 9
Acknowledgements 11
Prologue 13
Chapter 1 Growing Up in Frontier Illinois 17
Chapter 2 Early Career 37
Chapter 3 Rapid Advancement 55
Chapter 4 New Challenges and Hobbies 83
Chapter 5 New Horizons 95
Chapter 6 Toward the Last Spike 117
Chapter 7 Cutting Costs 147
Chapter 8 The Final Push 175
Chapter 9 All That Grant Was to the U.S.A. 209
Chapter 10 Van Horne at the Helm 239
Chapter 11 Art for Art's Sake 283
Chapter 12 Family Matters 299
Chapter 13 Cuba Beckons 325
Chapter 14 Building the Cuba Railroad 339
Chapter 15 Chasing the Money 367
Chapter 16 Dodging the Grim Reaper 397
Afterword 429
Bibliography 433
Notes 443
Index 495
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