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Author White, Richard, 1947-

Title Railroaded : the transcontinentals and the making of modern America / Richard White

Publ Info New York : W.W. Norton, [2011]
Edition First edition
 RWU Main Library  HE2751 .W55 2011    AVAILABLE
 Salve Main Collection  HE2751 .W55 2011    AVAILABLE
Descript xxxix, 660 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 25 cm
text rdacontent
unmediated rdamedia
volume rdacarrier
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 535-642) and index
Contents Genesis -- Annus horribilis : 1873 -- Friends -- Spatial politics -- Kilkenny cats -- Men in octopus suits -- Workingmen -- Looking backward -- Collapse -- Strike -- Creative destruction
Introduction -- Genesis. First principles ; Patriotism and profit ; The acts of the founders ; Building with other people's money ; Golden spike -- A railroad life: H.K. Thomas -- Annus horribilis: 1873. Springtime in Mexico ; Springtime in Canada ; The Indians' perpetual winter ; Political storms brewing ; Information and trust ; The long winter ; Stories of the fall -- A railroad life: William Hyde -- Friends. The lobby ; Antimonopoly and party politics ; The Southern Transcontinental ; Reform in the Gilded Age ; A railroad life: Elias C. Boudinot -- Spatial politics. Absolute space ; Relational space ; The things they carried ; How railroad rates construct space ; The rise of the octopus ; Regulating space -- A railroad life: Alfred A. Cohen -- Kilkenny cats. Creative destruction ; The Colton trial ; Territory ; Rationalizing irrationality ; Superheroes of bad management ; A system that did not bury its dead -- Mise en scene: labor in nature -- Men in octopus suits. The visible hand ; Men and boys: manhood and management ; A political animal ; Going off the tracks -- A railroad life: William Mahl -- Workingmen. Control of work ; The knights of labor ; Contract labor and the Chinese ; Rock springs ; Workers' marginalism -- A railroad life: William Pinkerton -- Looking backward. Benevolent trusts ; Waiting for natural monopoly ; Labor's defeats ; Bears ; The Interstate Commerce Commission ; The Interstate-Commerce Railway Association -- Mise en scene: the death of Johanna Grogan -- Collapse. An Alcoholics Anonymous for railroads ; Bankers ; Villard and Adams ; The second fall of Henry Villard ; The panic of 1893 ; The struggles of the octopus -- Mise en scene: reading the newspapers -- Strike. The courts ; Union Pacific and Great Northern ; Pullman ; The decline of the octopus -- Mise en scene: following the detectives -- Creative destruction. Dumb growth ; Cattle ; The diverging Dakotas ; Rain follows the plow -- Mise en scene: Wovoka -- Epilogue -- Conclusion
Note The transcontinental railroads of the late nineteenth century were the first corporate behemoths. Their attempts to generate profits from proliferating debt sparked devastating panics in the U.S. economy. Their dependence on public largess drew them into the corridors of power, initiating new forms of corruption. Their operations rearranged space and time, and remade the landscape of the West. As wheel and rail, car and coal, they opened new worlds of work and ways of life. Their discriminatory rates sparked broad opposition and a new antimonopoly politics. With characteristic originality, range, and authority, Richard White shows the transcontinentals to be pivotal actors in the making of modern America. But the triumphal myths of the golden spike, robber barons larger than life, and an innovative capitalism all die here. Instead we have a new vision of the Gilded Age, often darkly funny, that shows history to be rooted in failure as well as success.--Publisher description
LC subject Railroads -- United States -- History -- 19th century
Land settlement -- United States -- History -- 19th century
National characteristics, American
ISBN 0393061264 (hbk.)
9780393061260 (hbk.)