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Railroaded : the transcontinentals and the making of modern America

Author: Richard White
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Co., ©2011
Edition/Format:   Book : English : 1. ed
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This work is a history of the transcontinental railroads and how they transformed America in the decades after the Civil War. The transcontinental railroads of the late nineteenth century were the first corporate behemoths. Their attempts to generate profits from proliferating debt sparked devastating panics in the U.S. economy. Their dependence on public largess drew them into the corridors of power, initiating new  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Richard White
ISBN: 9780393061260 0393061264
OCLC Number: 900357730
Notes: Awards: Pulitzer Prize for History finalist, 2012
Description: xxxix, 660 pages, [8] pages of plates : illustrations, maps, charts ; 25 cm
Contents: Genesis : First principles ; Patriotism and profit ; The acts of the founders ; Building with other people's money ; Golden spike ; A railroad life: H.K. Thomas --
Annus horribilis: 1873 : Springtime in Mexico ; Springtime in Canada ; The Indian's perpetual winter ; Political storms brewing ; Information and trust ; The long winter ; Stories of the fall ; A railroad life: William Hyde --
Friends : The lobby ; Antimonopoly and party politics ; The Southern Transcontinental ; Reform in the Gilded Age ; A railroad life: Elias C. Boudinot --
Spatial politics : Absolute space ; Relational space ; The things they carried ; How railroad rates construct space ; The rise of the Octopus ; Regulating space ; A railroad life: Alfred A. Cohen --
Kilkenny cats : Creative destruction ; The Colton Trial ; Territory ; Rationalizing irrationality ; Superheroes of bad management ; A system that did not bury its dead ; Mise en scène: labor in nature --
Men in octopus suits : The visible hand ; Men and boys: manhood and management ; A political animal ; Going off the tracks ; A railroad life: William Mahl --
Working men : Control of work ; The knights of labor ; Contract labor and the Chinese ; Rock Springs ; Workers' marginalism ; A railroad life: William Pinkerton --
Looking backward : Benevolent trusts ; Waiting for natural monopoly ; Labor's defeats ; Bears ; The Interstate Commerce Commission ; The Interstate-Commerce Railway Association ; Mise en scène: the death of Johanna Grogan --
Collapse : An Alcoholics Anonymous for railroads ; Bankers ; Villard and Adams ; The second fall of Henry Villard ; The Panic of 1893 ;The struggles of the Octopus ; Mise en scène: reading the newspapers --
Strike : The courts ; Union Pacific and Great Northern ; Pullman ; The decline of the Octopus ; Mise en scène: following the detectives --
Creative destruction : Dumb growth ; Cattle ; The diverging Dakotas ; Rain follows the plow ; Mise en scène: Wovoka
Responsibility: Richard White

Abstract:

This work is a history of the transcontinental railroads and how they transformed America in the decades after the Civil War. The transcontinental railroads of the late nineteenth century were the first corporate behemoths. Their attempts to generate profits from proliferating debt sparked devastating panics in the U.S. economy. Their dependence on public largess drew them into the corridors of power, initiating new forms of corruption. Their operations rearranged space and time, and remade the landscape of the West. As wheel and rail, car and coal, they opened new worlds of work and ways of life. Their discriminatory rates sparked broad opposition and a new antimonopoly politics. With characteristic originality, range, and authority, Richard White shows the transcontinentals to be pivotal actors in the making of modern America. But the triumphal myths of the golden spike, robber barons larger than life, and an innovative capitalism all die here. Instead we have a new vision of the Gilded Age, often darkly funny, that shows history to be rooted in failure as well as success

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