The National Dream: The Great Railway, 1871-1881

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The National Dream: The Great Railway, 1871-1881

by Pierre Berton

Doubleday Canada | August 14, 2001 | Trade Paperback

The National Dream: The Great Railway, 1871-1881 is rated 5 out of 5 by 2.
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Using primary sources — diaries, letters, unpublished manuscripts, public documents and newspapers — Pierre Berton has reconstructed the incredible decade of the 1870s, when Canadians of every stripe —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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 456 pages, 9 × 6.03 × 1.18 in

Published: August 14, 2001

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385658400

ISBN - 13: 9780385658409

Found in: Canada, Canada

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read this one is a little slow getting you prepared with all the government hang-ups to build it,but is needed to understand part two-the last spike.put both toghter and wow.i will never think of train travel the same again.
Date published: 2011-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Should be mandatory reading for Canadians As with many of the other titles Pierre Berton has wrote (more numerous then I even thought). This is a great little insight into Canada’s past. After reading many of his books I always chuckle when I hear Canadians complain about there being no history in Canada; lord knows I was once one of them. But through The National Dream: "The Great Railway, 1871-1881" he continues on his legacy of bringing forth the rich and vibrant, if not at times turbulent history that shaped Canada, in a reader friendly, admiringly addictive manner. I highly recommend this and the many other books he wrote as a treat for yourself or a gift to anyone who has the slightest inkling of interest in history.
Date published: 2006-07-24

– More About This Product –

The National Dream: The Great Railway, 1871-1881

by Pierre Berton

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 456 pages, 9 × 6.03 × 1.18 in

Published: August 14, 2001

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385658400

ISBN - 13: 9780385658409

From the Publisher

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.

From the Jacket

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.

About the Author

Pierre Berton was one of Canada’s 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 Maclean’s magazine, appeared on CBC’s 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-General’s 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 Society’s 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 de
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Editorial Reviews

"Pierre Berton is a chronicler of the first order who has brought photographic clarity to the great and the corrupt, to the zealots and the dreamers associated with Canada''s first great vision of linking steel threads to the nation''s fabric."
—Montreal Star
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