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The opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830 marked the beginning of a transport revolution that would forever transform the way we live. Blood, Iron, and Gold takes us on a journey encompassing jungle, mountain, and desert, revealing the huge impact of the railroads as they spread rapidly across entire countries, and linked cities that hitherto had little reach beyond their immediate environs. The rise of the train triggered daring engineering feats, great architectural innovation, and the rapid movement of people and goods across the globe. Cultures were both enriched and destroyed by the unrelenting construction of the railroads, and the new technology quickly took on a vital role in civil conflicts and two world wars.In this beautifully illustrated book, renowned transportation journalist Christian Wolmar celebrates the vision and determination of the ambitious pioneers who developed the railways that would dominate the globe.
Before the nineteenth century, armies had to rely on slow and unreliable methods of transportation to move soldiers and equipment during times of conflict. But with the birth of the railroad in the early 1830s, the way wars were fought would change forever. In Engines of War, renowned expert Christian Wolmar tells the story of that transformation, examining all the engagements in which railways played a part from the Crimean War and American Civil War through both world wars, the Korean War, and the Cold War with its mysterious missile trains. He shows that the 'iron road' not only made armies far more mobile, but also greatly increased the scale and power of available weaponry. Wars began to be fought across wider fronts and over longer timescales, with far deadlier consequences. From armored engines with their swiveling guns to track sabotage by way of dynamite, railway lines constructed across frozen Siberian lakes and a Boer war ambush involving Winston Churchill, Engines of War shows how the railways - a fantastic generator of wealth in peacetime - became a weapon of war exploited to the full by governments across the world.
America was made by the railroads. The opening of the Baltimore & Ohio line--the first American railroad--in the 1830s sparked a national revolution in the way that people lived thanks to the speed and convenience of train travel. Promoted by visionaries and built through heroic effort, the American railroad network was bigger in every sense than Europe's, and facilitated everything from long-distance travel to commuting and transporting goods to waging war. It united far-flung parts of the country, boosted economic development, and was the catalyst for America's rise to world-power status.Every American town, great or small, aspired to be connected to a railroad and by the turn of the century, almost every American lived within easy access of a station. By the early 1900s, the United States was covered in a latticework of more than 200,000 miles of railroad track and a series of magisterial termini, all built and controlled by the biggest corporations in the land. The railroads dominated the American landscape for more than a hundred years but by the middle of the twentieth century, the automobile, the truck, and the airplane had eclipsed the railroads and the nation started to forget them. In The Great Railroad Revolution, renowned railroad expert Christian Wolmar tells the extraordinary story of the rise and the fall of the greatest of all American endeavors, and argues that the time has come for America to reclaim and celebrate its often-overlooked rail heritage.
Christian Wolmar passionately and expertly chronicles the story of what is often called Siberia's lifeline. From its improbable conception and construction under Tsar Alexander III to the northern extension ordered by Brezhnev, Wolmar examines its continued success as a vital artery for the expansion of the Russian and subsequently#151;of the Soviet state. The Trans-Siberian railroad fueled the Russo-Japanese War, the Russian Revolution, Civil War, and the Russian resistance to the Nazi invasion during the Second World War, among other bloody upheavals. The rousing story of the Trans-Siberian is one of continuous change, extraordinary personalities, and formative political and economic events. This is first general history of the Trans-Siberian railway#151;the longest rail network in the world, stretching 6,000 miles of bleak winter. The iron tracks sprawl over the bulk of the Asian landmass that's scarcely populated by disparate and numerous tribes#151;initially connecting the few who even spoke the official language of the Russian state with the exiled convicts and political prisoners serving out their terms in cruel labor camps where men were regularly beheaded, hanged, starved, or mutilated for minor offenses. And yet, despite this dismal backdrop, the increased stream of people fed into Siberia by the rail led to a drastic transformation through rapid urbanization and migrant settlements. Thanks to the iron road, Siberia has quickly become an inextricable part of Russia's lore. But To the Edge of the World is also an adventure in travel, and a journey that will forever evoke the romantic roam through the Russian steppes famously popularized by David Lean's rich adaptation of Doctor Zhivagoin 1965. It is the portrait of a railway that began as a meandering, single-track line with more curves than an average mountain pass. I would end up as a widely mythologized network of rails that continues to wield a profound influence on the world's geopolitical system even today.
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