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Download Rival Rails: The Race to Build America’s Greatest Transcontinental Railroad Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Rival Rails: The Race to Build America’s Greatest Transcontinental Railroad, by Walter R. Borneman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Walter R. Borneman Narrator: Norman Dietz Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, which marked the completion of the country’s first transcontinental railroad, was only the beginning of the race for railroad dominance. In the aftermath of this building feat, dozens of railroads, each with aggressive empire builders at their helms, raced one another for the ultimate prize of a southern transcontinental route that was generally free of snow, shorter in distance, and gentler in gradients.

More than just a means of transportation, the railroads were a powerful mold, and the presence of a rail line had the power to make—or break—the fledgling towns and cities across the newborn American West. While much has been written about the building of the first transcontinental railroad, the bulk of the history of the railroads in the United States has been largely ignored. With a meticulous, loving eye, Walter Borneman picks up where most other histories leave off.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Borneman’s narrative is brisk, colorful, and exciting.”

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Jim | 11/28/2013

    " This felt very inaccessible to someone who doesn't have the train obsession. Yes, trains are cool, but this seemed like something for someone who's truly obsessed with the subject. But I don't regret reading this because now, I'm completely fascinated by the story of Nellie Bly. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by David Nusinow | 2/24/2013

    " I'm not really a railroad person, and I think someone who's more into their history would have enjoyed this book more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Chris Aylott | 3/24/2012

    " There are some interesting tidbits in this history of how the railroads of the West were won, but there are too many names and dates and not enough economics, scenery, or personality. Not bad, but just okay. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Chris | 1/30/2011

    " There are some interesting tidbits in this history of how the railroads of the West were won, but there are too many names and dates and not enough economics, scenery, or personality. Not bad, but just okay. "

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