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See below for a selection of the latest books from Trains & railways: general interest category. Presented with a red border are the Trains & railways: general interest books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Trains & railways: general interest books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
A pictorial memoir of railroading during the days when trains were still the dominant mode of American intercity travel. This account tells of the role railroads played in Rubin's life as a child and as an adult in search of vocation.
In this innovative collection, Louis Owens blends autobiography, short fiction, and literary criticism to reflect on his experiences as a mixedblood Indian in America.In sophisticated prose, Owens reveals the many timbres of his voice--humor, humility,love, joy, struggle, confusion, and clarity. We join him in the fields, farms, and ranches of California. We follow his search for a lost brother and contemplate along with him old family photographs from Indian Territory and early Oklahoma. In a final section, Owens reflects on the work and theories of other writers, including Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Gerald Vizenor, Michael Dorris, and Louise Erdrich. Volume 40 in the American Indian Literature and Critical Studies Series
The Hoosac railroad tunnel in the mountains of northwestern Massachusetts was a nineteenth-century engineering and construction marvel, on par with the Brooklyn Bridge, Transcontinental Railroad, and Erie Canal. The longest tunnel in the Western Hemisphere at the time (4.75 miles), it took nearly twenty-five years (1851-1875), almost two hundred casualties, and tens of millions of dollars to build. Yet it failed to deliver on its grandiose promise of economic renewal for the commonwealth, and thus is little known today. Andrew R. Black's Buried Dreams refreshes public memory of the project, explaining how a plan of such magnitude and cost came to be in the first place, what forces sustained its completion, and the factors that inhibited its success. Black digs into the special case of Massachusetts, a state disadvantaged by nature and forced repeatedly to reinvent itself to succeed economically. The Hoosac Tunnel was just one of the state's efforts in this cycle of decline and rejuvenation, though certainly the strangest. Black also explores the intense rivalry among Eastern Seaboard states for the spoils of western expansion in the post-Erie Canal period. His study interweaves the lure of the West, the competition between Massachusetts and archrival New York, the railroad boom and collapse, and the shifting ground of state and national politics. The psychic makeup of Americans before and after the Civil War heavily influenced public perceptions of the tunnel; by the time it was finished, Black contends, the indomitable triumphalism that had given birth to the Hoosac had faded to skepticism and cynicism. Anticipated economic benefits never arrived, and Massachusetts eventually sold the tunnel for only a fraction of its cost to a private railroad company. Buried Dreams tells a story of America's reckoning with the perils of impractical idealism, the limits of technology to bend nature to its will, and grand endeavors untempered by humility.
America's founders envisioned a federal government of limited and enumerated powers. What they could not envision, of course, was the vast and complex infrastructure that the growing nation would demand-a demand that became ever clearer as the power and importance of railroads emerged. The requirements of a nationwide rail network, it also became clear, far exceeded the resources of state and local government and private industry. The consequences, as seen in this book, amounted to state building from the ground up. In Railroads and American Political Development Zachary Callen tells the story of the federal government's role in developing a national rail system-and the rail system's role in expanding the power of the federal government. The book reveals how state building, so often attributed to an aggressive national government, can also result from local governments making demands on the national state-a dynamic that can still be seen at work every time the US Congress takes up a transportation bill. Though many states invested in their local railroads, and many quite successfully, others were less willing or less capable-so rail development necessarily became a federal concern. Railroads and American Political Development shows how this led to the Land Grant Act of 1850, a crucial piece of legislation in the building of both the nation's infrastructure and the American state. Chronicling how this previously local issue migrated to the federal state, and how federal action then altered American rail planning, the book offers a new perspective on the exact nature of federalism. In the case of rail development, we see how state governments factor into the American state building process, and how, in turn, the separation of powers at the federal level shaped that process. The result is a fresh view of the development of the American rail system, as well as a clearer picture of the pressures and political logic that have altered and expanded the reach of American federalism.
The mighty railroad occupied the undisputed center of American public life. The railroad founded cities, populated states, created governments, destroyed the wilderness. It was the great speculator, the political tyrant, the recruiter of immigrants, the opener of new lands, the cynosure of poets and pioneers, the symbol of adventure, opportunity, escape, and power. . . . Yet, the railroad man, for all his historic importance, his archetypal stature, and his economic power, has achieved only a minor position in American literature. --from Workin' on the RailroadIn Workin' on the Railroad, Richard Reinhardt presents firsthand accounts from engineers, brakemen, porters, conductors, section men, roundhouse workers, switchmen, telegraphers, surveyors, and other neglected pioneers who worked the railroad during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Age of Steam.
In the 1890s, the people of north-west Scotland grew tired of Government Commissions sent to consider a railway to Ullapool. Despite rock-solid arguments in favour of such a railway, neither government nor the big railway companies lifted a finger to build one. Against the recommendations of its own advisers, the Scottish Office dismissed the project as 'a quite impossible proposal'. In 1918, history repeated itself with another Commission and another failure to build the railway. 'Drivel' is how one local man described the official government inquiry reports. Few disagreed. This book tells the whole sorry tale of the attempt to improve transportation in the north-west Highlands and the resulting government inquiries, set against the region's economic and social problems and civil unrest in the crofting communities. Stories, facts and figures have been unearthed from the archives of government departments and railway companies, from local people's letters and petitions, from contemporary newspapers and from the plans prepared for the hoped-for railways. Other unbuilt railways to the north-west coast are also described. But this story is not just about planned railways that were never built. It is about the frustrations of the people of the Highlands in the face of government incompetence, railway-company obstructionism, local rivalries and the struggle against the historical injustice of land-ownership.