Hear That Lonesome Whistle Blow: The Epic Story of the Transcontinental Railroads

Front Cover
Macmillan, Sep 1, 2001 - History - 320 pages
6 Reviews
From the author of the best-selling Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown's classic account of the building of the transcontinental railroad.

In February 1854 the first railroad from the East reached the Mississippi; by the end of the nineteenth century five major transcontinental railroads linked the East Coast with the Pacific Ocean and thousands of miles of tracks criss-crossed in the West, a vast and virginal land just a few years before.

The story of this extraordinary undertaking is one of breathtaking technological ingenuity, otherwordly idealism, and all-too-wordly greed. The heroes and villains were Irish and Chineselaborers, intrepid engineers, avaricious bankers, stock manipulators, and corrupt politicians. Before it was over more than 155 million acres (one tenth of the country) were given away to the railroad magnates, Indian tribes were decimated, the buffalo were driven from the Great Plains, millions of immigrants were lured from Europe, and a colossal continental nation was built.

Woven into this dramatic narrative are the origins of present-day governmental corruption, the first ties between powerful corporations and politicians who "enjoyed the frequent showers of money that fell upon them from railroad stock manipulators, and gave away America." How the people of that time responded to a sense of disillusionment remarkably similar to our own adds a contemporary dimension to this story.
  

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Review: Hear That Lonesome Whistle Blow: The Epic Story of the Transcontinental Railroads

User Review  - Joe Swearingen - Goodreads

Slow starting book but learned much on the history of the railroads in the USA and how the taxpayers overpaid and the politicians and Railroad companies profited. Read full review

Review: Hear That Lonesome Whistle Blow: The Epic Story of the Transcontinental Railroads

User Review  - Paul Sauser - Goodreads

Love this book on transcontinental railroad. You think big biz runs the country now ... Jeez. Read full review

Contents

THE IRON HORSE COMES TO THE WATERS OF THE MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI
1
WITH THE WINGS OF THE WIND
19
WAR SLOWS THE MARCH TO THE WESTERN SEA
39
DRILL YE TARRIERS DRILL WHILE THE OWNERS TAKE THE PLUNDER
57
THE ERA OF THE COWBOY IS BORN
78
THE GREAT RACE
100
FIRST TRAVELERS ON THE TRANSCONTINENTAL
136
RAILROADERS WEST
171
SITTING BULL AND THE NORTHERN ROUTE
203
ELEGANCE ON THE WESTERN RAILS
218
THE IMMIGRANT
235
TRAMPLING THE FRONTIER
256
THE IRON HORSE ASSUMES A DEVIL IMAGE
272
NOTES
285
BIBLIOGRAPHY
293
INDEX
305

EXIT THE LAND GRABBERS ENTER THE STOCK MANIPULATORS
182

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

Dee Brown is the author of numerous excellent books on Western American history, including his best-selling Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (0-8050-6669-1)

Bibliographic information