• History

Empire Express

Building the First Transcontinental Railroad
Author: David Haward Bain
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101658045
Category: History
Page: 816
View: 7104
After the Civil War, the building of the transcontinental railroad was the nineteenth century's most transformative event. Beginning in 1842 with a visionary's dream to span the continent with twin bands of iron, Empire Express captures three dramatic decades in which the United States effectively doubled in size, fought three wars, and began to discover a new national identity. From self--made entrepreneurs such as the Union Pacific's Thomas Durant and era--defining figures such as President Lincoln to the thousands of laborers whose backbreaking work made the railroad possible, this extraordinary narrative summons an astonishing array of voices to give new dimension not only to this epic endeavor but also to the culture, political struggles, and social conflicts of an unforgettable period in American history.

    • History

Empire Express

Building the First Transcontinental Railroad
Author: David Haward Bain
Publisher: Allen Lane
ISBN: 9780140084993
Category: History
Page: 797
View: 5806
Describes the construction of America's first transcontinental railroad from Missouri to the Pacific in terms of the remarkable expansion of the United States of America.

    • History

The Berlin-Baghdad Express


Author: Sean McMeekin
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674057392
Category: History
Page: 460
View: 2026
The modern Middle East was forged in the crucible of the First World War, and McMeekin reveals in this startling reinterpretation, it was neither the British nor the French but rather a small clique of Germans and Turks who thrust the Islamic world into the conflict for their own political, economic, and military ends.

    • Business & Economics

American Express

The People Who Built the Great Financial Empire
Author: Peter Z. Grossman
Publisher: Beard Books
ISBN: 9781587982835
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 420
View: 6318
A dramatic inside look at the evolution of one of the most powerful financialinstitutions in the world. 16 pages of photographs.

    • Business & Economics

House of Cards

Inside the Troubled Empire of American Express
Author: Jon Friedman,John Meehan
Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780399136542
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 272
View: 9782
A study of American Express chronicles the history of the financial-services conglomerate, whose public fiascos and private internal battles have eaten away at its power

    • History

The Golden Empire

Spain, Charles V, and the Creation of America
Author: Hugh Thomas
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1588369048
Category: History
Page: 672
View: 3194
From a master chronicler of Spanish history comes a magnificent work about the pivotal years from 1522 to 1566, when Spain was the greatest European power. Hugh Thomas has written a rich and riveting narrative of exploration, progress, and plunder. At its center is the unforgettable ruler who fought the French and expanded the Spanish empire, and the bold conquistadors who were his agents. Thomas brings to life King Charles V—first as a gangly and easygoing youth, then as a liberal statesman who exceeded all his predecessors in his ambitions for conquest (while making sure to maintain the humanity of his new subjects in the Americas), and finally as a besieged Catholic leader obsessed with Protestant heresy and interested only in profiting from those he presided over. The Golden Empire also presents the legendary men whom King Charles V sent on perilous and unprecedented expeditions: Hernán Cortés, who ruled the “New Spain” of Mexico as an absolute monarch—and whose rebuilding of its capital, Tenochtitlan, was Spain’s greatest achievement in the sixteenth century; Francisco Pizarro, who set out with fewer than two hundred men for Peru, infamously executed the last independent Inca ruler, Atahualpa, and was finally murdered amid intrigue; and Hernando de Soto, whose glittering journey to settle land between Rio de la Palmas in Mexico and the southernmost keys of Florida ended in disappointment and death. Hugh Thomas reveals as never before their torturous journeys through jungles, their brutal sea voyages amid appalling storms and pirate attacks, and how a cash-hungry Charles backed them with loans—and bribes—obtained from his German banking friends. A sweeping, compulsively readable saga of kings and conquests, armies and armadas, dominance and power, The Golden Empire is a crowning achievement of the Spanish world’s foremost historian. From the Hardcover edition.

    • History

Nothing Like It In the World

The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869
Author: Stephen E. Ambrose
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9780743210836
Category: History
Page: 432
View: 386
In this account of an unprecedented feat of engineering, vision, and courage, Stephen E. Ambrose offers a historical successor to his universally acclaimed Undaunted Courage, which recounted the explorations of the West by Lewis and Clark. Nothing Like It in the World is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad -- the investors who risked their businesses and money; the enlightened politicians who understood its importance; the engineers and surveyors who risked, and lost, their lives; and the Irish and Chinese immigrants, the defeated Confederate soldiers, and the other laborers who did the backbreaking and dangerous work on the tracks. The Union had won the Civil War and slavery had been abolished, but Abraham Lincoln, who was an early and constant champion of railroads, would not live to see the great achievement. In Ambrose's hands, this enterprise, with its huge expenditure of brainpower, muscle, and sweat, comes to life. The U.S. government pitted two companies -- the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads -- against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. Locomo-tives, rails, and spikes were shipped from the East through Panama or around South America to the West or lugged across the country to the Plains. This was the last great building project to be done mostly by hand: excavating dirt, cutting through ridges, filling gorges, blasting tunnels through mountains. At its peak, the workforce -- primarily Chinese on the Central Pacific, Irish on the Union Pacific -- approached the size of Civil War armies, with as many as fifteen thousand workers on each line. The Union Pacific was led by Thomas "Doc" Durant, Oakes Ames, and Oliver Ames, with Grenville Dodge -- America's greatest railroad builder -- as chief engineer. The Central Pacific was led by California's "Big Four": Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins. The surveyors, the men who picked the route, were latter-day Lewis and Clark types who led the way through the wilderness, living off buffalo, deer, elk, and antelope. In building a railroad, there is only one decisive spot -- the end of the track. Nothing like this great work had been seen in the world when the last spike, a golden one, was driven in at Promontory Summit, Utah, in 1869, as the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific tracks were joined. Ambrose writes with power and eloquence about the brave men -- the famous and the unheralded, ordinary men doing the extraordinary -- who accomplished the spectacular feat that made the continent into a nation.

    • History

City of Fortune

How Venice Ruled the Seas
Author: Roger Crowley
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0679644261
Category: History
Page: 464
View: 2011
“The rise and fall of Venice’s empire is an irresistible story and [Roger] Crowley, with his rousing descriptive gifts and scholarly attention to detail, is its perfect chronicler.”—The Financial Times The New York Times bestselling author of Empires of the Sea charts Venice’s astounding five-hundred-year voyage to the pinnacle of power in an epic story that stands unrivaled for drama, intrigue, and sheer opulent majesty. City of Fortune traces the full arc of the Venetian imperial saga, from the ill-fated Fourth Crusade, which culminates in the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, to the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1499–1503, which sees the Ottoman Turks supplant the Venetians as the preeminent naval power in the Mediterranean. In between are three centuries of Venetian maritime dominance, during which a tiny city of “lagoon dwellers” grow into the richest place on earth. Drawing on firsthand accounts of pitched sea battles, skillful negotiations, and diplomatic maneuvers, Crowley paints a vivid picture of this avaricious, enterprising people and the bountiful lands that came under their dominion. From the opening of the spice routes to the clash between Christianity and Islam, Venice played a leading role in the defining conflicts of its time—the reverberations of which are still being felt today. “[Crowley] writes with a racy briskness that lifts sea battles and sieges off the page.”—The New York Times “Crowley chronicles the peak of Venice’s past glory with Wordsworthian sympathy, supplemented by impressive learning and infectious enthusiasm.”—The Wall Street Journal

    • History

Dividing the Spoils

The War for Alexander the Great's Empire
Author: Robin Waterfield
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199931526
Category: History
Page: 273
View: 1978
"Dividing the spoils" revives the memory of Alexander's Successors, whose fame has been dimmed only because they stand in his enormous shadow. In fact, Alexander left things in a mess at the time of his death, with no guaranteed succession, no administration in place suitable for such an enormous realm, and huge untamed areas both bordering and within his 'empire'. The Successors consolidated the Conqueror's gains. Their competing ambitions, however, meant that consolidation inevitably led to the break-up of the empire.

    • Political Science

Empire

What Ruling the World Did to the British
Author: Jeremy Paxman
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0670919608
Category: Political Science
Page: 368
View: 2776
The influence of the British Empire is everywhere, from the very existence of the United Kingdom to the ethnic composition of our cities. It affects everything, from Prime Ministers' decisions to send troops to war to the adventurers we admire. From the sports we think we're good at to the architecture of our buildings; the way we travel to the way we trade; the hopeless losers we will on, and the food we hunger for, the empire is never very far away. In this acute and witty analysis, Jeremy Paxman, bestselling author of The English goes to the very heart of empire. As he describes the selection process for colonial officers ('intended to weed out the cad, the feeble and the too clever') the importance of sport, the sweating domestic life of the colonial officer's wife ('the challenge with cooking meat was "to grasp the fleeting moment between toughness and putrefaction when the joint may possibly prove eatable"') and the crazed end for General Gordon of Khartoum, Paxman brings brilliantly to life the tragedy and comedy of Empire and reveals its profound and lasting effect on our nation and ourselves.

    • Juvenile Nonfiction

The Inca Empire


Author: Jane Bingham
Publisher: Heinemann-Raintree Library
ISBN: 9781410927316
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
Page: 64
View: 5402
A description of life in the Inca empire written in the form of a travel guide.

    • History

Churchill's Empire

The World That Made Him and the World He Made
Author: Richard Toye
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 9781429943352
Category: History
Page: 448
View: 4924
The imperial aspect of Churchill's career tends to be airbrushed out, while the battles against Nazism are heavily foregrounded. A charmer and a bully, Winston Churchill was driven by a belief that the English were a superior race, whose goals went beyond individual interests to offer an enduring good to the entire world. No better example exists than Churchill's resolve to stand alone against a more powerful Hitler in 1940 while the world's democracies fell to their knees. But there is also the Churchill who frequently inveighed against human rights, nationalism, and constitutional progress—the imperialist who could celebrate racism and believed India was unsuited to democracy. Drawing on newly released documents and an uncanny ability to separate the facts from the overblown reputation (by mid-career Churchill had become a global brand), Richard Toye provides the first comprehensive analysis of Churchill's relationship with the empire. Instead of locating Churchill's position on a simple left/right spectrum, Toye demonstrates how the statesman evolved and challenges the reader to understand his need to reconcile the demands of conscience with those of political conformity.

    • History

Venus of Empire

The Life of Pauline Bonaparte
Author: Flora Fraser
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408832550
Category: History
Page: 304
View: 320
Celebrated for her looks, notorious for her passions, immortalised by Antonio Canova's statue and always deeply loyal to her brother, Pauline Bonaparte Borghese is a fascinating figure. At the turn of the nineteenth century she was considered by many to be the most beautiful woman in Europe. She shocked the continent with the boldness of her love affairs, her opulent wardrobe and jewels and, most famously, her decision to pose nearly nude for Canova's sculpture, which has been replicated in countless ways through the years. But just as remarkable for Pauline's private life was her fidelity to the emperor (if not to her husbands). She was witness to Napoleon's great victories in Italy, and she was often with him and her rival for his loyalty, the Empress Josephine, at Malmaison. When he was exiled to Elba, Pauline was the only sibling to follow him there, and after Waterloo she begged to be allowed to join him at Saint Helena. No biographer has gone so deeply into the sources or so closely examined one of the seminal relationships of the man who shaped modern Europe. In Venus of Empire, Flora Fraser casts new light on the Napoleonic era while crafting a dynamic, vivid portrait of mesmerising woman.

    • Travel

A Book of Migrations


Author: Rebecca Solnit
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1844677087
Category: Travel
Page: 208
View: 1884
"A brilliant meditation on travel."—The New York Times In this acclaimed exploration of the culture of others, Rebecca Solnit travels through Ireland, the land of her long-forgotten maternal ancestors. A Book of Migrations portrays in microcosm a history made of great human tides of invasion, colonization, emigration, nomadism and tourism. Enriched by cross-cultural comparisons with the history of the American West, A Book of Migrations carves a new route through Ireland's history, literature and landscape.

    • History

The Triumph of Human Empire

Verne, Morris, and Stevenson at the End of the World
Author: Rosalind Williams
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226899586
Category: History
Page: 400
View: 9596
In the early 1600s, in a haunting tale titled New Atlantis, Sir Francis Bacon imagined the discovery of an uncharted island. This island was home to the descendants of the lost realm of Atlantis, who had organized themselves to seek “the knowledge of Causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of Human Empire, to the effecting of all things possible.” Bacon’s make-believe island was not an empire in the usual sense, marked by territorial control; instead, it was the center of a vast general expansion of human knowledge and power. Rosalind Williams uses Bacon’s island as a jumping-off point to explore the overarching historical event of our time: the rise and triumph of human empire, the apotheosis of the modern ambition to increase knowledge and power in order to achieve world domination. Confronting an intensely humanized world was a singular event of consciousness, which Williams explores through the lives and works of three writers of the late nineteenth century: Jules Verne, William Morris, and Robert Louis Stevenson. As the century drew to a close, these writers were unhappy with the direction in which their world seemed to be headed and worried that organized humanity would use knowledge and power for unworthy ends. In response, Williams shows, each engaged in a lifelong quest to make a home in the midst of human empire, to transcend it, and most of all to understand it. They accomplished this first by taking to the water: in life and in art, the transition from land to water offered them release from the condition of human domination. At the same time, each writer transformed his world by exploring the literary boundary between realism and romance. Williams shows how Verne, Morris, and Stevenson experimented with romance and fantasy and how these traditions allowed them to express their growing awareness of the need for a new relationship between humans and Earth. The Triumph of Human Empire shows that for these writers and their readers romance was an exceptionally powerful way of grappling with the political, technical, and environmental situations of modernity. As environmental consciousness rises in our time, along with evidence that our seeming control over nature is pathological and unpredictable, Williams’s history is one that speaks very much to the present.

    • History

West Like Lightning

The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express
Author: Jim DeFelice
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062496794
Category: History
Page: 368
View: 7397
The #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of American Sniper brings the Pony Express to life in this rich and rollicking new history "One can hear horse hooves pounding across the prairie and sense the fear and courage and excitement." —Tom Clavin, author of Dodge City On the eve of the Civil War, three American businessmen launched an audacious plan to create a financial empire by transforming communications across the hostile territory between the nation’s two coasts. In the process, they created one of the most enduring icons of the American West: the Pony Express. Daring young men with colorful names like “Bronco Charlie” and “Sawed-Off Jim” galloped at speed over a vast and unforgiving landscape, etching an irresistible tale that passed into myth almost instantly. Equally an improbable success and a business disaster, the Pony Express came and went in just eighteen months, but not before uniting and captivating a nation on the brink of being torn apart. Jim DeFelice’s brilliantly entertaining West Like Lightning is the first major history of the Pony Express to put its birth, life, and legacy into the full context of the American story. The Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company—or “Pony Express,” as it came to be known—was part of a plan by William Russell, Alexander Majors, and William Waddell to create the next American Express, a transportation and financial juggernaut that already dominated commerce back east. All that stood in their way were almost two thousand miles of uninhabited desert, ice-capped mountains, oceanic plains roamed by Indian tribes, whitewater-choked rivers, and harsh, unsettled wilderness. The Pony used a relay system of courageous horseback riders to ferry mail halfway across a continent in just ten days. The challenges the riders faced were enormous, yet the Pony Express succeeded, delivering thousands of letters at record speed. The service instantly became the most direct means of communication between the eastern United States and its far western territories, helping to firmly connect them to the Union. Populated with cast of characters including Abraham Lincoln (news of whose electoral victory the Express delivered to California), Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill Cody (who fed the legend of the Express in his Wild West Show), and Mark Twain (who celebrated the riders in Roughing It), West Like Lightning masterfully traces the development of the Pony Express and follows it from its start in St. Joseph, Missouri—the edge of the civilized world—west to Sacramento, the capital of California, then booming from the gold rush. Jim DeFelice, who traveled the Pony’s route in his research, plumbs the legends, myths, and surprising truth of the service, exploring its lasting relevance today as a symbol of American enterprise, audacity, and daring.

    • Biography & Autobiography

Empire and Revolution

The Political Life of Edmund Burke
Author: Richard Bourke
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400873452
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 1032
View: 1653
Edmund Burke (1730–97) lived during one of the most extraordinary periods of world history. He grappled with the significance of the British Empire in India, fought for reconciliation with the American colonies, and was a vocal critic of national policy during three European wars. He also advocated reform in Britain and became a central protagonist in the great debate on the French Revolution. Drawing on the complete range of printed and manuscript sources, Empire and Revolution offers a vivid reconstruction of the major concerns of this outstanding statesman, orator, and philosopher. In restoring Burke to his original political and intellectual context, this book overturns the conventional picture of a partisan of tradition against progress and presents a multifaceted portrait of one of the most captivating figures in eighteenth-century life and thought. A boldly ambitious work of scholarship, this book challenges us to rethink the legacy of Burke and the turbulent era in which he played so pivotal a role.

    • Political Science

Are We Rome?

The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America
Author: Cullen Murphy
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 0547527071
Category: Political Science
Page: 272
View: 608
What went wrong in imperial Rome, and how we can avoid it: “If you want to understand where America stands in the world today, read this.” —Thomas E. Ricks The rise and fall of ancient Rome has been on American minds since the beginning of our republic. Depending on who’s doing the talking, the history of Rome serves as either a triumphal call to action—or a dire warning of imminent collapse. In this “provocative and lively” book, Cullen Murphy points out that today we focus less on the Roman Republic than on the empire that took its place, and reveals a wide array of similarities between the two societies (The New York Times). Looking at the blinkered, insular culture of our capitals; the debilitating effect of bribery in public life; the paradoxical issue of borders; and the weakening of the body politic through various forms of privatization, Murphy persuasively argues that we most resemble Rome in the burgeoning corruption of our government and in our arrogant ignorance of the world outside—two things that must be changed if we are to avoid Rome’s fate. “Are We Rome? is just about a perfect book. . . . I wish every politician would spend an evening with this book.” —James Fallows

    • History

The Old Iron Road

An Epic of Rails, Roads, and the Urge to Go West
Author: David Haward Bain
Publisher: Viking Press
ISBN: N.A
Category: History
Page: 434
View: 779
The author describes his and his family's odyssey west as they retraced the entire route of the first transcontinental railroad, offering a glimpse of the American spirit of adventure and character that led to its construction.