Praise for previous titles in the series:
Fifty Minerals That Changed the Course of History
"Interesting, affordable and readable.... Offers the reader an opportunity to delve further into each mineral's historical significance in an accessible way."
Fifty Animals That Changed the Course of History
"An original approach that links the biological sciences to the social sciences... students and general readers will find many interesting stories within these pages."
-- American Reference Books Annual
The new title in the series, "Fifty Railroads that Changed the Course of History," is a handsome, illustrated survey of the most important historical and contemporary railway lines around the world. Filled with unusual and unexpected stories and facts, it will captivate a wide audience, from the curious browser to researching students.
The book organizes the railroads chronologically, considering each according to its greatest impact on Social, Commercial, Political, Engineering, and Military history. Maps plus more than 200 elegant drawings, photographs and paintings as well as dozens of sidebars highlight the concise, engaging text.
The fifty railroads span history, from the first in public passenger travel (Wales, 1807) to Japan's speed-record breaking "Bullet." Exotic locales reflect the map of colonialism (Guyana to transport sugar, India to carry cotton and arms). Railroads moved troops (the Crimea, the American Civil War, the Boer War) and united vast lands (Canadian Pacific Railway, Trans-Siberian). They transported horror (Auschwitz Ker), saved the Railway Children, and went underground to cross the English Channel.
"Fifty Railroads that Changed the Course of History" features rail barons, politicians, disasters, crime, weather, geology, great artists, fraudsters and animals, a dynamic cast of characters and a mind-spinning whirlwind of fact, trivia and conversation starters.