Extended Audio Sample

Download Conquering Gotham: A Gilded Age Epic: The Construction of Penn Station and Its Tunnels Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Conquering Gotham: A Gilded Age Epic: The Construction of Penn Station and Its Tunnels, by Jill Jonnes Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (204 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jill Jonnes Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Regular Price: $20.49 Download
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Download learn more )

The demolition of Penn Station in 1963 destroyed not just a soaring neoclassical edifice but also a building that commemorated one of the last century’s great engineering feats—the construction of railroad tunnels into New York City. Now in this gripping narrative, Jill Jonnes tells this fascinating story—a high-stakes drama that pitted the money and will of the nation’s mightiest railroad against the corruption of Tammany Hall, the unruly forces of nature, and the machinations of labor agitators.

In 1901 the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Alexander Cassatt, determined that it was technically feasible to build a system of tunnels connecting Manhattan to New Jersey and Long Island. Confronted by payoff-hungry politicians, brutal underground working conditions, and disastrous blowouts and explosions, it would take him nearly a decade to make Penn Station and its tunnels a reality. Set against the bustling backdrop of Gilded Age New York, Conquering Gotham will enthrall fans of David McCullough’s The Great Bridge and Ron Chernow’s Titan.

Download and start listening now!

bdmg

Quotes & Awards

  • “A human account of how a few visionaries from the Pennsylvania Railroad connected the rest of the country to the nation’s greatest port, and how their Philadelphia-centric perspective doomed the world’s largest train station.”

    New York Times

  • “Lush and lovely prose.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “In the tradition of David McCullough’s narrative of the Brooklyn Bridge…Intelligent history about building an indispensable part of our infrastructure.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Andrew Gounardes | 2/12/2014

    " Fantastic story - especially if you are interested in NYC history. I never knew the story behind Penn Station and it was fascinating to read about it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Michael | 2/9/2014

    " Interesting...but not a great read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rachelle | 1/24/2014

    " Much more of a page-turner than you would expect from the subject. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Chad | 1/23/2014

    " This book covers the the epic trials faced by the PRR when building Penn stations and it's associated tunnels in NYC. Jonnes brings to life the assortment of colorful railroad barons, Tammany bosses, politicians, engineers and others involved in this massive construction effort. The biggest to date on American soil and the building of the longest sub-aqueous tunnels at that time. Tunnels that are still in use today I might add. Makes on feel sorry for the loss of such a great building from the NYC landscape (replaced by the awful current incarnation of Madison Square Garden). "

  • > Show All
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Jill Jonnes is a historian and the author of Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World and South Bronx Rising: The Rise, Fall & Resurrection of an American City. She has also been an NEH scholar and has received several grants from the Ford Foundation.