Empire EXPress: Building The First Transcontinental Railroad

Paperback | September 1, 2000

byDavid Haward Bain

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After the Civil War, the building of the transcontinental railroad was the nineteenth century's most transformative event. Beginning in 1842 with a visionary's dream to span the continent with twin bands of iron, Empire Express captures three dramatic decades in which the United States effectively doubled in size, fought three wars, and began to discover a new national identity. From self--made entrepreneurs such as the Union Pacific's Thomas Durant and era--defining figures such as President Lincoln to the thousands of laborers whose backbreaking work made the railroad possible, this extraordinary narrative summons an astonishing array of voices to give new dimension not only to this epic endeavor but also to the culture, political struggles, and social conflicts of an unforgettable period in American history.

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After the Civil War, the building of the transcontinental railroad was the nineteenth century's most transformative event. Beginning in 1842 with a visionary's dream to span the continent with twin bands of iron, Empire Express captures three dramatic decades in which the United States effectively doubled in size, fought three wars, an...

David Haward Bain is the author of four previous works of nonfiction, including Empire Express and Sitting in Darkness, which received a Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award. His articles and essays have appeared in Smithsonian, American Heritage, Kenyon Review, and Prairie Schooner, and he reviews regularly for The New York Times Boo...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:848 pages, 9.25 × 6.15 × 1.7 inPublished:September 1, 2000Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140084991

ISBN - 13:9780140084993

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Table of Contents

Empire Express - David Haward Bain Part I: 1845-57: A Procession of Dreamers
1: "For All the Human Family"
2: "Who Can Oppose Such a Work?"
3: "I Must Walk Toward Oregon"
4: "The Great Object for Which We Were Created"
5: "An Uninhabited and Dreary Waste"
Part II: 1860-61: Union, Disunion, Incorporation
6: "Raise the Money and I Will Build Your Road"
7: "There Comes Crazy Judah"
8: "The Marks Left by the Donner Party"
9: "The Most Difficult Country Ever Conceived"
10: "We Have Drawn the Elephant"
Part III: 1863: Last of the Dreamers
11: "Speculation Is as Fatal to It as Secession"
12: "I Have Had a Big Row and Fight"
Part IV: 1864: Struggle for Momentum
13: "First Dictator of the Railroad World"
14: "Dancing with a Whirlwind"
15: "Trustees of the Bounty of Congress"
Part V: 1865: The Losses Mount
16: "The Great Cloud Darkening the Land"
17: "If We Can Save Our Scalps"
18: "I Hardly Expect to Live to See It Completed"
Part VI: 1866: Eyeing the Main Chance
19: "Vexation, Trouble, and Continual Hindrance"
20: "The Napoleon of Railways"
21: "We Swarmed the Mountains with Men"
22: "Until They Are Severely Punished"
Part VII: 1867: Hell on Wheels
23: "Nitroglycerine Tells"
24: "Our Future Power and Influence"
25: "They All Died in Their Boots"
26: "There Are Only Five of Us"
Part VIII: 1868: Going for Broke
27: "More Hungry Men in Congress"
28: "Bring on Your Eight Thousand Men"
29: "We Are in a Terrible Sweat"
30: "A Man for Breakfast Every Morning"
Part IX: 1869: Battleground and Meeting Ground
31: "A Resistless Power"
32: "We Have Got Done Praying"
Part X: 1872-73: Scandals, Scapegoats, and Dodgers
Epilogue: "Trial of the Innocents"
Notes
Bibliography
Index