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Blood, Iron, & Gold: How the Railroads Transformed the World


Blood, Iron, & Gold: How the Railroads Transformed the World Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830 marked the beginning of a transport revolution that would forever transform the way we live. Blood, Iron, and Gold takes us on a journey encompassing jungle, mountain, and desert, revealing the huge impact of the railroads as they spread rapidly across entire countries, and linked cities that hitherto had little reach beyond their immediate environs. The rise of the train triggered daring engineering feats, great architectural innovation, and the rapid movement of people and goods across the globe. Cultures were both enriched and destroyed by the unrelenting construction of the railroads, and the new technology quickly took on a vital role in civil conflicts and two world wars.

In this beautifully illustrated book, renowned transportation journalist Christian Wolmar celebrates the vision and determination of the ambitious pioneers who developed the railways that would dominate the globe.

Book News Annotation:

This history of railways is based on an immodest (but true) premise: Railroads changed the world, knitting together nations such as Canada, the U.S., and Russia, and making it possible for North American farmers to feed a hungry world. Wolmar tells the exciting story of how railroads grew from small beginnings to span entire continents, without leaving out the terrible price that was often paid for this growth by railway workers and indigenous peoples. Readers will see the engineering marvels that made the trans-Panama and Trans-Siberian railways, along with the epic bad planning that made it difficult to knit Australia's multi-gauge railways into a single system. Although Wolmar occasionally gets mired in train-geek details, his vast knowledge of railroading and infectious enthusiasm will carry readers along for an exciting ride. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


Britains leading train expert tells the epic story of how the worlds railroads shaped commerce, cultures, and countries, and created the modern era

About the Author

Christian Wolmar is a writer and broadcaster specializing in the social history of railways and transport. He has written for major British newspapers for many years and has contributed to many other publications, including the New York Times and Newsday. He frequently appears on TV and radio as an expert commentator. His most recent books are The Subterranean Railway, a history of the London Underground, the world's oldest system, and Fire and Steam, the story of Britain's railways.

Product Details

How the Railways Transformed the World
Wolmar, Christian
World - General
Social change -- History.
Railroads - History
Railroads - General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
includes 16-pp. Color photo insert plus
9.25 x 6.13 in 23.6 oz

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Related Subjects

Transportation » Railroads » General
Transportation » Railroads » North America
Transportation » Railroads » World

Blood, Iron, & Gold: How the Railroads Transformed the World Used Hardcover
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Product details 432 pages PublicAffairs - English 9781586488345 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Britains leading train expert tells the epic story of how the worlds railroads shaped commerce, cultures, and countries, and created the modern era
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