Blood, Iron, and Gold reveals the huge impact of the railways as they spread rapidly across the world, linking cities that had hitherto been isolated, stimulating both economic growth and social change on an unprecedented scale. From Panama to the Punjab, Christian Wolmar describes the vision and determination of the pioneers who developed railways that would one day span continents, as well as the labour of the navvies who built this global network.
Wolmar shows how cultures were enriched – and destroyed – by the unrelenting construction and how they had a vital role in civil conflict, as well as in two world wars. Indeed, the global expansion of the railways was key to the spread of modernity and the making of the modern world.
"[A] fascinating study not just of a transportation system, but of the Promethean spirit of the modern age." (Publishers Weekly)
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a mile wide, an inch deep
- David C Robinson