Full Steam Ahead: The Race to Build a Transcontinental Railroad

Full Steam Ahead: The Race to Build a Transcontinental Railroad

by Rhoda Blumberg
     
 

Influenced both by the Gold Rush and the Civil War, America came to realize that a link to the far West was vital. In the mid-1800s, the Union Pacific railroad company, along with their rival, the Central Pacific company, raced to cover the most ground before meeting at Promontory Summit, Utah in 1869. Blumberg vividly evokes the people, places, danger and… See more details below

Overview

Influenced both by the Gold Rush and the Civil War, America came to realize that a link to the far West was vital. In the mid-1800s, the Union Pacific railroad company, along with their rival, the Central Pacific company, raced to cover the most ground before meeting at Promontory Summit, Utah in 1869. Blumberg vividly evokes the people, places, danger and perserverance surrounding an American milestone. Illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Newbery Honor author Blumberg (Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun) offers not only an assiduously documented, spikes-and-bolts chronicle of the "great race" to create the first cross-country railroad by laying track between Sacramento and Omaha, but an absorbing panorama of the project's dramatic effect on the American frontier. Lacing her narrative with often amusing anecdotes and ample quotes, Blumberg spins a tale thick with intrigue and controversy. Feuding began almost immediately as congressmen argued about whether the track should be laid on Northern or Southern soil, thus stalling the project until President Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862. Many memorable personalities emerge here, including the visionaries who conceived of transcontinental rail travel in the 1850s; the greedy, profiteering businessmen who organized the Central Pacific Railroad Company, charged with building the railroad eastward from California; and the stalwart laborers, many of them Chinese, Native American and Mormon, who endured bitter mountain blizzards, sweltering desert heat and, sometimes, extreme prejudice. Attractively designed, the volume contains numerous period illustrations and on-site photos of the mammoth undertaking. Ages 10-up. (May)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4-6A clear and lively account that describes the con men and visionaries, Indian raids, wild West towns, and extraordinary feats of courage that all played a part in the building of the first transcontinental railroad. The race to the finish and the golden spike at the end provide added drama, but the story also concerns some very complicated legislation and myriad engineering details. Boiling all of this down into a highly readable treatment for this audience is no small feat, but Blumberg has managed to get it all in. Her crisp, decisive text and exemplary documentation set the stage for the striking black-and-white photos and reproductions, well laid out with plenty of white space. This attractive oversized volume is terrific for browsing and helpful for reports.Connie Parker, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Cleveland, OH

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780792227151
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
04/01/1996
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
8.84(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.83(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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