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The Burden of Southern History
For Fear of an Elective King
Road to Safwan
Mary Wickes
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Legacies of the War on Poverty
American Confluence

Railroads and the American PeopleRailroads and the American People

H. Roger Grant

Finalist for ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year

Narrated by Todd Barsness

Available from Audible

Book published by Indiana University Press

In this social history of the impact of railroads on American life, H. Roger Grant concentrates on the railroad’s “golden age,” 1830-1930. To capture the essence of the nation’s railroad experience, Grant explores four fundamental topics—trains and travel, train stations, railroads and community life, and the legacy of railroading in America. Grant recalls the lasting memories left by train travel, both of luxurious Pullman cars and the grit and grind of coal-powered locals. He discusses the important role railroads played for towns and cities across America, not only for the access they provided to distant places and distant markets but also for the depots that were a focus of community life. Finally, Grant reviews the lasting heritage of the railroads as it has been preserved in word, stone, paint, and memory. Railroads and the American People is a sparkling paean to American railroading by one of its finest historians.

H. Roger Grant is Kathryn and Calhoun Lemon Professor of History at Clemson University. He is author of several books on railroad history.


“With plenty of detail, Grant brings a bygone era back to life, addressing everything from social and commercial appeal, racial and gender issues, safety concerns, and leaps in technology. But Grant never loses sight of the big picture and the essential role the railroads played in American life. He writes with authority and clarity in a work that can appeal to both casual and hardcore enthusiasts.”

Publishers Weekly

“"With its wealth of vignettes, Railroads and the American People does a fine job of humanizing the iron horse.”

Wall Street Journal

“"Railroad historian Grant ... has written an engaging book of train stories, detailing their social influence from 1830 to 1930.... Highly recommended.”


“Grant’s work is highly recommended to train buffs and others in love with early railroading. ”

Library Journal

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