Nothing Like It In the World : The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869
Nothing Like It In the World The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869 Author:Stephen E. Ambrose Nothing Like It in the World gives the account of an unprecedented feat of engineering, vision, and courage. It is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad -- the investors who risked their businesses and money; the enlightened politicians who understood its importance; the engineers and surveyors who risked, and somet... more »imes lost, their lives; and the Irish and Chinese immigrants, the defeated Confederate soldiers, and the other laborers who did the backbreaking and dangerous work on the tracks.The U.S. government pitted two companies -- the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads -- against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. Locomotives, rails, and spikes were shipped from the East through Panama or around South America to the West or lugged across the country to the Plains. In Ambrose's hands, this enterprise, with its huge expenditure of brainpower, muscle, and sweat, comes vibrantly to life.« less
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One of the best books I've read recently. The writer presents it as if it were a J. Patterson , Alex cross story, even though you know the final result. But the stories in it that are now so forgotten makes it a great thriller.