- Taschenbuch: 848 Seiten
- Verlag: Penguin Books; Auflage: 1st Penguin Edition (1. September 2000)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0140084991
- ISBN-13: 978-0140084993
- Vom Hersteller empfohlenes Alter: Ab 18 Jahren
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,6 x 4,6 x 23,4 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 20 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 427.371 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
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Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. September 2000
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"Rich with scandal, tragedy, and visionary characters".
-- SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Describes the construction of America's first transcontinental railroad from Missouri to the Pacific in terms of the remarkable expansion of the United States of America.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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In short, if you want to learn everything there is to know about the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, this book is for you. If you just want a brief overview, look elsewhere.
The Union Pacific-Central Pacific venture was one of the truly pivotal moments in American history, and Mr. Bain does indeed present it as such. It is more than obvious in reading "Empire Express" that there was a great deal of time involved in research. It is also evident that there was easily enough information/facts to fill multiple volumes if Mr. Bain had desired to do so.
The primary strength of this book is its spike-by-spike account and the vast amount of information provided. Not only does Mr. Bain present the railroad itself, he brings us the major players who envisioned this project, built the line, and ensured that it would be built without interference. He also weaves in the surrounding history (i.e. the Civil War) and politics of the era to highlight everything that helped or hindered the railroad.
Another of the strong points in this book is that Mr. Bain lets the information and the historical figures do the "talking". I give kudos to Mr. Bain, because he avoided skewing the account through his personal opinion, which seems to be the unfortunate trend in some historical circles today.
There were two things that kept me from giving this a 5-star rating. First, it was a very slow read. Granted, most historical works are; however, this seemed to proceed more tediously than most. Second, there were several points in which Mr. Bain unloaded so much information on the reader that it was literally disorienting. When you encountered these spots, you were forced to re-read the page(s) again to ensure you digested it all. Or, you just plowed ahead to see where he was going with the story so you could - pardon the pun - get back on track. While these may seem trivial criticisms, it did detract from my overall enjoyment of this book.
All in all, though, this was a very good book. I do offer a bit of warning to those not accustomed to reading history: this is a dry, academic read. Mr. Bain does not write in the elegant style of a Stephen Ambrose or John Keegan. So in that regard, these readers may be disappointed. However, for those true historians or history buffs, this will be one to read and own for your library.
David Haward Bain's definitive account of the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad captures the enthusiasm and the energy and the fortitude which was required to make this monumental feat possible. Not only was it a marvelous example of American ingenuity, but it was also the product of a good deal of backroom politics and high stakes dealmaking.
You will learn how men of modest means caught the vision of what could be, and became not only fabulously wealthy, but also emerged as giants in the history of The West. You will learn of the hardships and opportunities of the Irish and Chinese immigrants who did the real work, laying miles of ties and steel rails across the prairies and over the mountains.
When it was completed in 1869, the "ribbon of steel" that extended from sea to sea transformed America, ushering in a wave of immigration to California and contributing greatly to America's rise to prominence as one of the Great Powers at the dawn of the 20th century.
The book is long, but rarely tedious. And because the scope of the subject matter is so sweeping, Bain can be forgiven for the book's length, because there is such a wealth of material to cover.
If you are a student of American history, a lover of railroads, or just curious about what America was like when there were still frontiers to be conquered, I highly recommend "Empire Express".
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