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Using primary source material, period photographs, and quotes from workers, passengers, owners, and politicians, an illustrated history of the American railroad traces the progress of rail travel across the continent. By the author of The Oregon Trail.
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Grade 5 Up-- Tracing the invention and development of the early railroad, Fisher blends fact, folklore, and the social and historical background necessary for understanding. The history is traced from the first locomotives through the race between the Tom Thumb and a horse-drawn wagon, to the story of John Henry, and on to the train's importance to the Civil War and westward expansion that culminated in the meeting of the transcontinental railroad in Promontory, Utah. Fisher goes beyond a merely factual accounting of the development of the rail system and includes its human impact in his narrative. The intrusion on the lands of Native Americans, the resulting wars, the careers of infamous robbers, and the train's effect on river transportation and the lives of the construction crews and railroad workers are all covered. Illustrative material is excellent, with a wide variety of photos and engravings of the people and equipment involved. Maps are sketchy, and one, showing only the Erie Canal's connection with Lake Ontario, and not the connection with Lake Erie at Buffalo, is inaccurate, but since few readers will look at a train book for information about canals, this omission can be overlooked. Overall, Tracks is a well-done, informative, and enjoyable work. --Jeffrey A. French, Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Fisher expands handsomely on his The Railroads (1979), adding nearly 100 period photos, prints, and maps and describing in detail the industry's growth. He begins in England with the development of steam-driven pumps; in 1829, Horatio Allen displayed his Stourbridge Lion in the US and the race was on, impelled by westward expansion and the Industrial Revolution. Fisher devotes chapters to the use and abuse of railroads in the Civil War; the Cr‚dit Mobilier and other scandals; the just, but futile, Native American resistance; wrecks--the Camp Hill Disaster, the Angola Horror and, of course, Casey Jones's heroic end; robbers, tycoons, and workers (including the Harvey Girls); and the violent beginnings of organized labor. He closes with a brief discussion of technical innovations that made rail transport so fast and cheap by the century's end. Though the narrative is occasionally interrupted with lists of routes and companies that will interest only confirmed enthusiasts, the author clearly shows how and why railroads came to be pivotal in our history and society. Bibliography; index. (Nonfiction. 11-13) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Holiday House. LIBRARY BINDING. Condition: New. 0823409457 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW33.2457597