Synopses & Reviews
The driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, which marked the completion of the country's first transcontinental railroad, was only the beginning of the race for railroad dominance. In the aftermath of this building feat, dozens of railroads, each with aggressive empire builders at their helms, raced one another for the ultimate prize of a southern transcontinental route that was generally free of snow, shorter in distance, and gentler in gradients.
More than just a means of transportation, the railroads were a powerful mold, and the presence of a rail line had the power to make—or break—the fledgling towns and cities across the newborn American West. While much has been written about the building of the first transcontinental railroad, the bulk of the history of the railroads in the United States has been largely ignored. With a meticulous, loving eye, Walter Borneman picks up where most other histories leave off.
From wagon ruts to a railroad empire, an expansive account of the battle to control the heavily contested transportation corridors of the American Southwest and to build America's greatest transcontinental route.
About the Author
Walter R. Borneman is the author of several books, including Polk; 1812: The War That Forged a Nation; The French and Indian War: Deciding the Fate of North America; and Alaska: Saga of a Bold Land. He is the president of the Walter V. and Idun Y. Berry Foundation, which funds postdoctoral fellowships in children's health at Stanford University. Norman Dietz is a writer, an actor, and a solo performer. Since 1962, he has toured coast to coast, presenting his work before audiences all over the United States and Canada. He is the author of the comic novel Nailing It, as well as Fables and Vaudevilles and Plays and The Lifeguard and the Mermaid, collections of his work for the stage. Norman has also performed frequently on radio and television, and he has recorded over 150 audiobooks, many of which have earned him awards from AudioFile magazine, the ALA, and Publishers Weekly. Additionally, AudioFile named Norman one of the Best Voices of the Century. He lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.