Magnificent Marvel Supersale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | April 6, 2015

    Mary Norris: IMG Voracious

    In the summer of 2012, I got a contract for a book about language, based on my experiences of more than 30 years as a copy editor at The New Yorker.... Continue »

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
3 Local Warehouse World History- Canada
2 Remote Warehouse World History- Canada

This title in other editions

The National Dream: The Great Railway, 1871-1881


The National Dream: The Great Railway, 1871-1881 Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1871, a tiny nation, just four years old — it's population well below the 4 million mark — determined that it would build the world's longest railroad across empty country, much of it unexplored. This decision — bold to the point of recklessness — was to change the lives of every man, woman and child in Canada and alter the shape of the nation.

Using primary sources — diaries, letters, unpublished manuscripts, public documents and newspapers — Pierre Berton has reconstructed the incredible decade of the 1870s, when Canadians of every stripe — contractors, politicians, financiers, surveyors, workingmen, journalists and entrepreneurs — fought for the railway, or against it.

The National Dream is above all else the story of people. It is the story of George McMullen, the brash young promoter who tried to blackmail the Prime Minister; of Marcus Smith, the crusty surveyor, so suspicious of authority he thought the Governor General was speculating in railway lands; of Sanford Fleming, the great engineer who invented Standard Time but who couldn't make up his mind about the best route for the railway. All these figures, and dozens more, including the political leaders of the era, come to life with all their human ambitions and failings.


In The National Dream, and its sequel, The Last Spike, Pierre Berton introduces readers to the land sharks, construction geniuses, politicians, entrepreneurs and the thousands of labourers who forged a nation through steel.

About the Author

Pierre Berton was one of Canadas most popular and prolific authors. From narrative histories and popular culture, to picture and coffee table books to anthologies, to stories for children to readable, historical works for youth, many of his fifty books are now Canadian classics.

Born in 1920 and raised in the Yukon, Pierre Berton worked in Klondike mining camps during his university years. He spent four years in the army, rising from private to captain/instructor at the Royal Military College in Kingston. He spent his early newspaper career in Vancouver, where at 21 he was the youngest city editor on any Canadian daily. He wrote columns for and was editor of Macleans magazine, appeared on CBCs public affairs program “Close-Up” and was a permanent fixture on “Front Page Challenge” for 39 years. He was a columnist and editor for the Toronto Star and was a writer and host of a series of CBC programs.

Pierre Berton received over 30 literary awards including the Governor-Generals Award for Creative Non-Fiction (three times), the Stephen Leacock Medal of Humour, and the Gabrielle Leger National Heritage Award. He received two Nellies for his work in broadcasting, two National Newspaper awards, and the National History Societys first award for “distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history.” For his immense contribution to Canadian literature and history, he was awarded more than a dozen honourary degrees, is a member of the Newsmans Hall of Fame, and is a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Pierre Berton passed away in Toronto on November 30, 2004.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

Berton, Pierre
Anchor Canada
Railroads and state
Canada - General
Chemins de fer
World History-Canada
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
no. 98
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.04x6.12x1.33 in. 1.09 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. The Last Spike: The Great Railway,... Used Trade Paper $6.95
  2. Introductory Electronics for... Used Trade Paper $147.00
  3. Writing the Rails: Train Adventures... Used Hardcover $7.50
  4. The Railroad Artistry of Howard Fogg Used Hardcover $25.00
  5. Dining by Rail: The History and the... Used Hardcover $6.95
  6. Nebraska - Delorme 2nd Edition... New Trade Paper $19.95

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Canada » General
History and Social Science » World History » Canada

The National Dream: The Great Railway, 1871-1881 New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$24.95 In Stock
Product details 456 pages Anchor Books/Doubleday - English 9780385658409 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In The National Dream, and its sequel, The Last Spike, Pierre Berton introduces readers to the land sharks, construction geniuses, politicians, entrepreneurs and the thousands of labourers who forged a nation through steel.
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at