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Publisher's Summary

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, lived 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.

©2000 Stephen E. Ambrose (P)2000 Simon & Schuster

What members say

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  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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New and interesting facts in every chapter

What made the experience of listening to Nothing Like It in the World the most enjoyable?

Lot's of new historical info

What did you like best about this story?

The blending of the actual construction with the backroom stories and determination of the stockholders to keep the project going

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No . . . but was a great ride along companion for a man who drives 40k a year

Any additional comments?

Amazed by the tenacity exhibited in building the railroad against all odds

  • Overall
  • Susan
  • Winters, CA, USA
  • 05-21-10

Nothing like it in the world

Great subject and we learned quite a bit but the names and dates were really hard to follow and I didn't care for the way it was read.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful