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Angelica Free Library 1 J 385.097 S Juvenile NonFiction Book
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Cuba Circulating Library Association 1 J 385.097 SAN Juvenile NonFiction Book
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Wellsville - David A. Howe Public Library 1 J 385.097 S Juvenile NonFiction Book
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Whitesville Public Library 1 J 385.097 S Juvenile NonFiction Book
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Summary

Summary

Experience the race of rails to link the country--and meet the men behind this incredible feat--in a riveting story about the building of the transcontinental railroad, brought to life with archival photos.

In the 1850s, gold fever swept the West, but people had to walk, sail, or ride horses for months on end to seek their fortune. The question of faster, safer transportation was posed by national leaders. But with 1,800 miles of seemingly impenetrable mountains, searing deserts, and endless plains between the Missouri River and San Francisco, could a transcontinental railroad be built? It seemed impossible. Eventually, two railroad companies, the Central Pacific, which laid the tracks eastward, and the Union Pacific, which moved west, began the job. In one great race between iron men with iron wills, tens of thousands of workers blasted the longest tunnels that had ever been constructed, built the highest bridges that had ever been created, and finally linked the nation by two bands of steel, changing America forever.


Author Notes

Martin W. Sandler is the author of Lincoln Through the Lens and The Dust Bowl Through the Lens. He has won five Emmy Awards for his writing for television and is the author of more than sixty books, two of which have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Among Sandler's other books are the six volumes in his award-winning Library of Congress American History Series for Young People, a series which has sold more than 500,000 copies. Other books by Mr. Sandler include: Island of Hope: The Story of Ellis Island, Trapped in Ice, The Story of American Photography, The Vaqueros, America: A Celebration, and This Was America.

Martin Sandler has taught American history and American studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and at Smith College. In 2014 his title, Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans during World War II, made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

No one knows who first envisioned a transcontinental railroad, but its completion would open up the American West and forever change the country as a whole. In stunning detail, Sandler recounts the race between competing eastern and western railroad companies to lay the most miles of tracks before they were linked, resulting in the most dramatic and most heralded race the nation had ever known, and accomplished entirely by hand. He describes the greed, corruption, and violence that followed the tracks as he introduces the key players in the construction and financing, the horrible working conditions, and the rough terrain. Sandler emphasizes throughout that the project would never have been completed without the labor of 10,000 Chinese men. While the transcontinental railroad brought speed and efficiency most notably, reducing a six-month cross-country trip to less than a week not everyone benefited. Conflicts with Native Americans, whose land was invaded, are also discussed. A plethora of archival photographs highlight daring men and rugged landscapes in this well-researched and fascinating adventure in history.--Leeper, Angela Copyright 2015 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Sandler chronicles the development of the transcontinental railroad, from its genesis through its legacy, with an abundance of photographs and lively text. Alternating chapters describe the progress made by the two companies-the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific-and the author incorporates maps and images, appropriately placed along the way, to further convey the magnitude of the railroad. The pacing, particularly when the two teams meet, is spot-on and mimics the advances of a train. Sandler tempers this engineering feat with details about the corruption that surrounded it, the "Hell on Wheels" towns that appeared alongside the tracks, and the human and environmental toll it took, which enables readers to look critically at an historical event. Sidebars and primary sources, which highlight people and innovations and enrich the narrative, interrupt the story's flow in a few places. Even though Sandler expounds throughout on the sacrifices made by Chinese workers and the irreparable impact on Native Americans and their culture, the book is written from the perspective of those in power. VERDICT Sandler tells a good story, filled with complex characters, adventure, and heartache, and he meticulously documents his research efforts.-Hilary Writt, Sullivan University, Lexington, KY © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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