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The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America's First Subway (2014)

Tekijä: Doug Most

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
267698,055 (3.46)8
"In the late nineteenth century, as cities like Boston and New York grew larger, the streets became increasingly clogged with horse-drawn carts. When the great blizzard of 1888 brought New York City to a halt, a solution had to be found. Two brothers--Henry Melville Whitney of Boston and William Collins Whitney of New York City--pursued the dream of his city being the first American metropolis to have a subway and the great race was on. The competition between Boston and New York was played out in an era not unlike our own, one of economic upheaval, job losses, bitter political tensions, and the question of America's place in the world. The Race Underground is peopled with the famous, like Boss Tweed, and Thomas Edison, and the not-so-famous, like the countless "sandhogs" who dug and blasted into the earth's crust, sometimes losing their lives in the process of building the subway's tunnels. Doug Most chronicles the science of the subway, looks at fears people had about travelling underground and tells a story as exciting as any ever ripped from the pages of U.S. history. The Race Underground is a great American saga of two rival American cities, the powerful interests within, and an invention that changed the lives of millions"--… (lisätietoja)
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» Katso myös 8 mainintaa

näyttää 5/5
Definitely enjoyable but a little broad and high-level. Almost reads like a Ragtime Ragtime or something, with an amazing cast of 19th century characters including engineers, sandhogs, financiers, and so on. Great material on early technological advances - Beach's pneumatic tube, Brunel's tunneling machines, Sprague's electric motors - but oddly little detail on the actual Boston and New York subways as built. Then again, it's less about those, and more about the process of getting them built, which was a heavy lift indeed. ( )
  goliathonline | Jul 7, 2020 |
A deep dive into the start of subways in New York and Boston. Horse draw carriages, then horse drawn trolleys ruled the streets. The streets were jammed with these vehicles making it unsafe for pedestrians to cross the streets. There were so many that the streets were jammed. If the cities were to expand and grow, they needed safer and faster transportation.

London was first, but used steam engines, filling the platforms with soot. New York and Boston looked to the new power of electricity. ( )
  dougcornelius | Nov 11, 2016 |
In the late nineteenth century, as cities like Boston and New York grew larger, the streets became increasingly clogged with horse-drawn carts. When the great blizzard of 1888 brought New York City to a halt, a solution had to be found. Two brothers—Henry Melville Whitney of Boston and William Collins Whitney of New York City—pursued the dream of his city being the first American metropolis to have a subway and the great race was on. The competition between Boston and New York was played out in an era not unlike our own, one of economic upheaval, job losses, bitter political tensions, and the question of America's place in the world. ( )
  cjordan916 | Jan 4, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways.
I won this book in exchange for an honest review.

I unfortunately could not bring myself to finish this book.

I found several challenges with this book. Of what I have read, I have found this book to be fraught with convoluted chapters, a multitude of secondary characters who appear for no more than one chapter and absolutely no flow. The author will begin a chapter and I would find myself saying, what does this have to do with anything? In a way I can applaud Mr. Most's use of detailed historical information but I just felt it did not help the story move along.

I was more than half way into the book and had still not gained a sense of the 'rivalry' between the two Whitney brothers. I did not even think there was a rivalry between the two cities of New York and Boston. I felt as if the author imposed that opinion onto the reader.

An extremely tedious writing of a very interesting and unknown subject matter. ( )
  NancyNo5 | Feb 13, 2014 |
A fast and entertaining read about the development of the subway systems in Boston and New York. Drawing a vivid portrait of the difficult traveling conditions in both cities at the time, the author then introduces the political, financial and logistical obstacles and those who overcame them to build the subways. Interesting, entertaining and informative.

Note: this review is based on an ARC received from the publisher. ( )
  astraplain | Dec 26, 2013 |
näyttää 5/5
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
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"In the late nineteenth century, as cities like Boston and New York grew larger, the streets became increasingly clogged with horse-drawn carts. When the great blizzard of 1888 brought New York City to a halt, a solution had to be found. Two brothers--Henry Melville Whitney of Boston and William Collins Whitney of New York City--pursued the dream of his city being the first American metropolis to have a subway and the great race was on. The competition between Boston and New York was played out in an era not unlike our own, one of economic upheaval, job losses, bitter political tensions, and the question of America's place in the world. The Race Underground is peopled with the famous, like Boss Tweed, and Thomas Edison, and the not-so-famous, like the countless "sandhogs" who dug and blasted into the earth's crust, sometimes losing their lives in the process of building the subway's tunnels. Doug Most chronicles the science of the subway, looks at fears people had about travelling underground and tells a story as exciting as any ever ripped from the pages of U.S. history. The Race Underground is a great American saga of two rival American cities, the powerful interests within, and an invention that changed the lives of millions"--

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