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Blood, Iron, and Gold: How the Railroads Transformed the World    by Christian Wolmar order for
Blood, Iron, and Gold
by Christian Wolmar
Order:  USA  Can
PublicAffairs, 2011 (2010)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

In 1830 the Liverpool and Manchester Railway opened. Fifty years later nearly a million miles of track spanned the globe as this mode of transportation changed how people did business, interacted with one another and even fought wars.

Filled with fascinating information on how a group of visionaries made travel across continents as easy as purchasing a ticket and climbing into a rail carriage, Blood, Iron, and Gold details how the railroad made fresh milk and other perishables widely available and how it created the mail order business.

The advent of the passenger train opened the doors to the idea of vacationing, and helped relieve famine but, unfortunately, spread epidemics as well.

Although they still have an important role to play in commerce, railroads began a slow decline with the advent of the automobile and later the airplane. Wolmar discusses this decline during the postwar period and also the more recent renaissance of the railroad.

If you know anyone who loves trains, there's little question that this book would be a much welcomed addition to his/her collection of railroad literature.

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