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Charles

Plano, TX, United States | Member Since 2012

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  • Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Stephen E. Ambrose
    • Narrated By Jeffrey DeMunn
    Overall
    (328)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (110)

    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. As 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, lived off buffalo, deer, and antelope.

    Judd Bagley says: "I really wanted to like this book."
    "Engineering Marvel"
    Overall

    Ambrose did a great job of describing the premier engineering challenge of the nineteenth century. Building the railroad from Omaha to Sacramento with only hand tools is amazing by any standard. This book was so good I read it then listened to the unabridged audiobook. The politics and finance may be a bit tiresome for some but the adventure of the race to Promontory should make this a great read for anyone wanting a real understanding of American History. This railroad had as much to do with joining the country East to West as the Civil War did in joining it North to South. Arguably, this project had more to do with making the American nation than any other engineering achievement.

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