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Download Nothing Like It In The World: The Men Who Built The Transcontinental Railroad 1863 - 1869 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Nothing Like It In The World: The Men Who Built The Transcontinental Railroad 1863 - 1869 Audiobook, by Stephen E. Ambrose Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,410 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen E. Ambrose Narrator: Jeffrey DeMunn Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2000 ISBN: 9780743551007
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In this account of an unprecedented feat of engineering, vision, and courage, Stephen E. Ambrose offers an historical successor to his universally acclaimed Undaunted Courage.

Nothing Like It in the World is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad. In Ambrose's hands, this enterprise comes to life.

The U.S. government pitted two companies -- the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads -- against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. At its peak, the work force approached the size of Civil War armies, with as many as 15,000 workers on each line. The surveyors, the men who picked the route, living off buffalo, deer, and antelope.

In building a railroad, there is only one decisive spot -- the end of the track. Nothing like this great work had ever been seen in the world when the last spike, a golden one, was driven in Promontory Peak, Utah, in 1869, as the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific tracks were joined.

Ambrose writes with power and eloquence about the brave men -- the famous and the unheralded, ordinary men doing the extraordinary -- who accomplished the spectacular feat that made the continent into a nation. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Richly readable...[Stephen Ambrose] bears the reader on of wonder and excitement.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Climb aboard...this lively tale, a colorful, edifying story of US history...Ambrose is the bard of American accomplishment.”

    New York Post

  • “Historian Stephen Ambrose has done it again...Ambrose should be read as much for his muscular prose and talent to get at the heart of the matter as for his research.”

    USA Today

  • “This magnificent tale...is magnificently told.”

    Time

  • “Drawing on diaries, memoirs, letters, telegrams, newspaper accounts, and other primary sources, Ambrose celebrates the railroad’s unsung heroes—the men who actually did the backbreaking work.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “DeMunn’s full-text reading is clear and well modulated. The book is chocked with piquant detail.”  

    AudioFile

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A Time Magazine Best Book of the Year for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aaron | 2/20/2014

    " Another great story by Stephen Ambrose. If you want to know how/who/where the railroads were built and joined east/west, then this is the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacy{s} | 2/16/2014

    " so interesting!! But it might be for history nerds only. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy Doyle | 2/9/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. I can't imagine there is any better one volume source on the building of the first transcontinental railroad. Very easy to read and very enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eliza | 2/8/2014

    " Stephen Ambrose does churn them out like butter but this is a good one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nick | 2/4/2014

    " Enjoyable, especially when it covers the feats of strength and organization required for tracklaying and tunnel digging. It would have been better if Ambrose did not frequently interrupt himself to tell us how important and amazing everything is. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Madelyn | 2/3/2014

    " Very interesting book on how the transcontinental rr was built. I learned a lot that I had never thought of before. I like to know the "hows" of some of history's big moments, which are usually only glossed over. I am glad I was not one of the guys swinging sledge hammers for years building the rr. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom Gase | 1/26/2014

    " I thought this book was okay. The building of the railroad was a monumental feat and I wanted to know more about it. There was a lot of information in this book, maybe too much and the book seemed to drag at some points because of it, especially on the chapters concerning the money that went into it. The other problem I had with it was that many, many people have said the author has gotten numerous facts wrong with this book. So the entire time I was reading the book I was wondering what was true and what wasn't. As a journalist myself, I have a big problem with that. THe good things about the book was learning more about the big four and Judah. I live very close (about two blocks away) from Judah St in San Francisco where an N-train takes me into the city at least 2-3 times a week. So that was cool learning about those guys. And Clement, who also has a street named after him in San Francisco. The book really made me want to take a trip to Lake Tahoe near Truckee and go to see all the railroad history there as well. I think this book is for history fans, but approach with caution. Not all of this may be true. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chuck | 1/19/2014

    " If you think that new technology, captialism and corruption is a new thing, check it out. A great story well told. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel | 12/3/2013

    " An informative read but not as engaging as some other Ambrose books. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Heather | 11/7/2013

    " I read this book so that my dad and I could discuss it. I found it to be very boring and repetitive. My dad, on the other hand, loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave | 10/15/2013

    " This book was not real entertaining but was an interesting account of the challenges to build a transcontinental railroad. Easy to read with lots of good detail. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom Hatting | 9/10/2013

    " A very good read. Full an interesting facts and historical insifghts. One of my most recommended titles. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sean Hanley | 5/31/2013

    " I seem to be on an American history kick, but this was the least interesting to me out of what I've read in the past few months. It's a full-history to be sure, but I was utterly bored by the passages about the budgeting, money, bonds, land grants, interest, capitalists, scandals, corruptions, etc. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Legge | 5/18/2013

    " Easy story to read and kept my interest. I enjoy this time period. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim Fischer | 12/21/2012

    " Great book just more history of this great country. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 7/12/2012

    " The story of the building of the transcontinental railroad "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 3/15/2012

    " I cheated, listened to this in the car, but it was fascinating to me since I have driven the transcontinental route (I-80 from nebraska to california) several times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Penzkover | 12/15/2011

    " A good summary of an important event that has faded in these times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 George | 12/13/2011

    " An easily readable account of the building of the first U.S. transcontinental railroad by the Union and Central Pacific companies in the late 1860's. Focus is upon the men behind the building as well as a lot of information regarding the trials and tribulations of building the railroad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brett | 8/28/2011

    " Facsinating history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard Motroni | 7/30/2011

    " From big titans to workers (mostly immigrants from China and Ireland, plus recently freed slaves) historian Stephen Ambrose takes it back in time to put there on the front lines of the Transcontinential Railroad. The history in the book really comes alive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 7/12/2011

    " Ambrose makes history come alive. Never thought a "history book" could be so enjoyable. The story is worth knowing, we don't appreciate what a tremendous achievement the transcontinental railroad was. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bill | 6/30/2011

    " I like Stephen Ambrose a lot, but this was not his best work. The story was laid out chronologically and from both railroads perspective - but this led to a monotonous text. The epilogue was worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 5/20/2011

    " I enjoyed this book, largely because I took field trips into northern Utah to see some of the locations where the railroad was initally positioned. You can still see remains to the rail bed though the rail is long gone. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Fred | 5/2/2011

    " Easy-to-read history of the bulding of the U.S. transcontinental railroad and the characters who made it happen. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aaron | 4/27/2011

    " Another great story by Stephen Ambrose. If you want to know how/who/where the railroads were built and joined east/west, then this is the book.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie | 3/5/2011

    " I've always like railroads, but this book made me even more interested. It's really amazing what these men accomplished, and I wonder if it could even be done today if it had to be again... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scot | 2/17/2011

    " The building of the Transcontinental Railroad. A great demonstration of what America is capable of. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 11/4/2010

    " A bit repetitive, but very informative of the inner workings of government and big business.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel | 10/27/2010

    " An informative read but not as engaging as some other Ambrose books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna Jo | 10/21/2010

    " Stephen Ambrose tells the story of the Transcontinental Railroad, which is a big story, but he breaks it up into easily digestible bits, with lots of human interest along the way. I had not realized Abraham Lincoln's interest and expertise in railroads. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 10/14/2010

    " Nothing Like it in the World was one of the more interesting history books I've read. The detail in the book and profiles of various important characters in the westward expansion of the U.S. rails system is terrific. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Reid | 10/13/2010

    " How the west was REALLY won... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 9/6/2010

    " A good summary of an important event that has faded in these times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy | 8/24/2010

    " I really enjoyed this book. I can't imagine there is any better one volume source on the building of the first transcontinental railroad. Very easy to read and very enjoyable. "

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About the Author
Author Stephen E. Ambrose

Stephen E. Ambrose (1936–2002) was the author of Citizen Soldiers, Undaunted Courage, and D-Day, as well as biographies of Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon. He also founded the Eisenhower Center and was president of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. His book, Band of Brothers, was the basis for the HBO miniseries.

About the Narrator

Jeffrey DeMunn is an American film, television, and stage actor. He graduated from Union College in 1969 and then spent two years at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school in England. He is best known for his roles in several Frank Darabont films, including The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Majestic. His is also featured in numerous television roles, most recently in the adaptation of The Walking Dead comic book series. In addition to his film and television performances, DeMunn has lent his voice to several audio books, including The Colorado Kid, Dreamcatcher, and Letters for Emily