Iron Empires

See the Reviews for Michael Hiltzik’s Iron Empires

From Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Hiltzik, the epic tale of the clash for supremacy between America’s railroad titans—an expansive, explosive battle that propelled America into the twentieth century.

In 1869, when the final spike was driven into the ties of the Transcontinental Railroad, few were prepared for its seismic aftershocks. Once a hodgepodge of short, squabbling lines, America’s railways soon boomed into a colossal industry helmed by a pageant of speculators, crooks, and visionaries. The vicious competition between empire builders such as Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, J. P. Morgan, and E. H. Harriman sparked stock market frenzies, panics, and crashes; provoked strikes that upended the relationship between management and labor; transformed the nation’s geography; and culminated in a ferocious two-man battle that shook the nation’s financial markets to their foundations, producing dramatic, lasting changes in American business and government.

In this magisterial history, Michael Hiltzik brings to life these outsized figures and the era, industry, and nation that they defined. Spanning four decades and set against the gritty, glittering backdrop of the Gilded Age, Iron Empires reveals how the robber barons drove the country into the twentieth century — and almost sent it off the rails.

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Reviews for “Iron Empires”