Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad

Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad

by David Haward Bain
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Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad by David Haward Bain

After the Civil War, the building of the transcontinental railroad was the nineteenth century's most transformative event. Beginning in 1842 with a visionary's dream to span the continent with twin bands of iron, Empire Express captures three dramatic decades in which the United States effectively doubled in size, fought three wars, and began to discover a new national identity. From self--made entrepreneurs such as the Union Pacific's Thomas Durant and era--defining figures such as President Lincoln to the thousands of laborers whose backbreaking work made the railroad possible, this extraordinary narrative summons an astonishing array of voices to give new dimension not only to this epic endeavor but also to the culture, political struggles, and social conflicts of an unforgettable period in American history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101658048
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/01/2000
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 816
Sales rank: 756,047
File size: 11 MB
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Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

David Haward Bain is the author of four previous works of nonfiction, including Empire Express and Sitting in Darkness, which received a Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award. His articles and essays have appeared in Smithsonian, American Heritage, Kenyon Review, and Prairie Schooner, and he reviews regularly for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, and Newsday. He is a teacher at Middlebury College and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

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Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A superlative history that makes you feel like an invisible spectator to epic events. Bain has done extensive research into correspondence and journals to bring the principals to life through their own words. The engineering, construction, labor, finances, Indian attacks, and even the history of the idea itself are all covered. But Bain surpasses all other accounts in describing the formation of the first two large US corporations and how their behavior (fraud, cheating, and bribing Congress) has influenced the Federal Government's attitude to large private enterprises ever since.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book contains a wealth of historical information about a fascinating subject. Unfortunately, the writing is so heavy, dense, turgid, and convoluted that the book is nearly unreadable. It reminded me of history texts from college days that could not be read and understood, but required dissection, diagramming, and study to extract information. All in all, it's a book of great, but unfulfilled, promise. It needed a good editor.