"A first-rate look at the little-known story behind the creation of America's first continental railroad…Entertaining and well written." Publishers WeeklyOne hundred forty years ago, four shopkeepers in Sacramento, California, rose to become the force behind the American transcontinental railroad, achieving along the way wealth beyond measure. To build influence and maintain power, they lied, bribed, and, when necessary, arranged for obstacles, both human and legal, to disappear. Their names were Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins, and they were known as "The Big Four" or "The Associates." Their drive for moneynothing more, nothing lesswas epic. Their legacy is a university, public gardens, museums, mansions, banks, and librariesand to a large degree, California itself. A captivating chronicle of a crucial period in American urban expansion, The Associates is a true-to-life tale of ruthless ambition, staggering greed, and the making of a nation.
About the Author
Richard Rayner is the author of two works of nonfiction and five novels. His work appears in The New Yorker and other publications. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A consise history of four industrialists who helped build the first Transcontinental Railroad and who monopolized all rail shipping and travel in California before going on to grab all they could grab. Among them was Leland Stanford, largely famous now only for the university he founded in the name of his dead son.
A glimpse into California's past, present, and future. we are still feeling the effects of what these men set into motion.