White offers a new, incisive history of the transcontinental railroads and how it transformed America in the decades after the Civil War.


Richard White is the Margaret Byrne Professor Emeritus of American History at Stanford University. He is the author of many acclaimed books in American western and environmental history, including Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Parkman Prize, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.


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.