Iron Empires: Robber Barons, Railroads, and the Making of Modern America

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A burgeoning country seeking unity as it expands finds a way to connect disparate lands. The railroads were just the next step in the evolution of travel, finding a way to get people and cargo from one point to another. The idea was just the beginning, implementation would be the rub. The steamboat was the most recent innovation, yet the clogging of the waterways by large boats caused problems. The funding of rails that connected the departure and arrival points would need to be extensive. Business titans like Cornelius Vanderbilt saw the potential for the new innovation and would engage in a war for supremacy over the iron rails. Vanderbilt, Morgan, Gould, Fisk, and Harriman emerged as household names, while fortunes were made and squandered in attempting to bring together the people of the young United States.

Iron Empires fascinates from start to finish in regaling the reader with the behind the scenes machinations of the modern railroad. The complex personalities who could make or break a rail project are profiled with the aplomb of an investigative journalist. Author Michael Hiltzik revives past history in a forthright manner, making for a stellar read. Iron Empires is a History book to be treasured for 2020 and beyond.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 448 pages
Publish Date 2020-08-11
ISBN 9780544770317 Buy this Book
Issue November 2020
Category History


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