Beginning in 1842 with a visionary's dream to span the continent with a single railroad line, Empire Express captures three dramatic decades in which the United States effectively doubled in size, fought three wars, and began to discover a new national identity. Culminating in the driving of the Golden Spike in the Utah desert in 1869, which touched off a frenzy of celebration, the narrative ends in 1873 in Washington under the Capitol rotunda, with the crushing fall of a popular politician and the exposure of a powerful, hidden railroad lobby - a scandal, which, for half a year, dominated the press and the country's imagination. Masterful storytelling and fourteen years of groundbreaking and meticulous research are brought to bear in this monumental account of a pivotal era. Drawing on original sources, this extraordinary narrative summons an astonishing gallery of historical voices to give new dimension not only to this epic endeavour but also to the culture, political struggles, and social conflicts of an unforgettable period in American history.
- Publication Date:
- 19 / 09 / 2000