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Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World -- from the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chiefby Tom Zoellner
Synopses & Reviews
A revelatory, entertaining account of the world's most indispensable mode of transportation.
Tom Zoellner loves trains with a ferocious passion. In his new book he chronicles the innovation and sociological impact of the railway technology that changed the world, and could very well change it again.
From the frigid trans-Siberian railroad to the antiquated Indian Railways to the futuristic MagLev trains, Zoellner offers a stirring story of mans relationship with trains. Zoellner examines both the mechanics of the rails and their engines and how they helped societies evolve. Not only do trains transport people and goods in an efficient manner, but they also reduce pollution and dependency upon oil. Zoellner also considers America's culture of ambivalence to mass transit, using the perpetually stalled line between Los Angeles and San Francisco as a case study in bureaucracy and public indifference.
Train presents both an entertaining history of railway travel around the world while offering a serious and impassioned case for the future of train travel.
“Tom Zoellner's writing is never less than engaging; in Train he has made himself a veritable Walt Whitman of rail travel. It's a great read.” Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb
“Train is such a pleasure to read, elegant, deeply informed and smart, full of knowledge-bearing sentences, and prose so companionable and rich in insight that it is as if its author were at your shoulder, taking you along with him. What an enjoyable journey. I will never hear the far off moan of a train in the night without thinking of it, and I know of no higher praise one can give a book. Tom Zoellner is quickly making himself a reputation as a man of wide and eclectic interests, and oh, my! Can he write!” Richard Bausch
"An absorbing and lively reflection on an enduring marvel of modern industrial technology." Booklist
About the Author
Tom Zoellner is the author of five nonfiction books including Uranium, winner of the 2011 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award. He was the coauthor with Paul Rusesabagina of the New York Times bestseller An Ordinary Man. He has worked as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and The Arizona Republic and as a contributing editor for Men's Health magazine. He teaches at Chapman University and lives in Los Angeles.
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