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Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World--from the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief
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Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World--from the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief [Format Kindle]

Tom Zoellner

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Praise for Train:

“Tom Zoellner's writing is never less than engaging; in Train he has made himself a veritable Walt Whitman of rail travel. It's a great read.” —Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb   “Train is such a pleasure to read, elegant, deeply informed and smart, full of knowledge-bearing sentences, and prose so companionable and rich in insight that it is as if its author were at your shoulder, taking you along with him. What an enjoyable journey. I will never hear the far off moan of a train in the night without thinking of it, and I know of no higher praise one can give a book. Tom Zoellner is quickly making himself a reputation as a man of wide and eclectic interests, and oh, my! Can he write!” —Richard Bausch, author of Peace

“Spirited and bighearted...Zoellner enlightens us about an industry that’s hiding in plain sight.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Highly entertaining, lucid and perceptive....It’s a train lover’s celebration of the great epic story of rail travel itself.”—Los Angeles Times

“This is one of those all-too-rare books that have so much to them”—The Washington Times

“[Train] is a gracefully written, densely detailed meditation of trains—past, present and future....[P]art travelogue, as he rides seven train that shaped the modern world; part personal memoir, as he describes the people he met along the way; and part history of trains, from their origin to their impact on societies around the world and their vital role in the fast-forward 21st century.”—LA Weekly

"An absorbing and lively reflection on an enduring marvel of modern industrial technology."—Booklist

Train makes for fascinating reading….The author’s easy, breezy style will keep readers chugging along.”—The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Zoellner illustrates how the modern era was ushered in and strapped in place by railroads, and how trains—the reality and the idea—continue to shape the world as we understand it….Train is by turns lyrical, powerful, romantic, transporting, and rich.”—Phoenix New Times

"[Train], rich with history and local color, is a mesmerizing read for anyone interested in the impact of trains on the environment, politics, economics, and daily life around the world today."—Library Journal

“Enchanting and informative.”—New York Post

“[Train] is an absorbing round-the-world journey.”—BookPage

Présentation de l'éditeur

An epic and revelatory narrative of the most important transportation technology of the modern world

In his wide-ranging and entertaining new book, Tom Zoellner—coauthor of the New York Times–bestselling An Ordinary Man—travels the globe to tell the story of the sociological and economic impact of the railway technology that transformed the world—and could very well change it again. From the frigid trans-Siberian railroad to the antiquated Indian Railways to the Japanese-style bullet trains, Zoellner offers a stirring story of this most indispensable form of travel. A masterful narrative history, Train also explores the sleek elegance of railroads and their hypnotizing rhythms, and explains how locomotives became living symbols of sex, death, power, and romance.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1744 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 384 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin Books (30 janvier 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°203.390 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires en ligne

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.2 étoiles sur 5  58 commentaires
27 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 "I LOVE the smell of diesel in the morning." 30 janvier 2014
Par takingadayoff - Publié sur
If you've ever ridden the train in Europe or Japan or even on one of the few commuter routes in the U.S., you've probably wondered why there aren't more trains in this country. They're convenient and fun to ride. Tom Zoellner rode the trains on four continents to find the answer to that question.

He describes train enthusiasts as "frothers," those who froth at the mouth with enthusiasm for all things having to do with trains. He fits the bill. The project gave him an excuse to ride the train on long distance trips in Great Britain, India, the U.S., Russia, South America, and Spain. He combines old-style travel writing, channeling Paul Theroux and Eric Newby, with thoughtful commentary on transportation policies in various countries. It's a good mix.

I enjoyed learning about the politics and policy of train travel around the world. But the best parts are about the people Zoellner meets and the stories he tells about the history of the rail. He tells the story of how the train spurred the popularity of paperback books. There's Walt Disney, train buff, in his striped engineer's outfit playing with his trains while eating a doughnut dipped in scotch. And the American train baron in South America who tells Zoellner, "I LOVE the smell of diesel in the morning," stirring up memories of the psycho commander in Apocalypse Now.

Zoellner's conclusions about the feasibility of long distance train travel in America are pessimistic. In short, it's too expensive. None of the successful long distance trains in the world is profitable -- it's a trade-off that other countries have made, but that we are unlikely to.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Not for the railfan for every fan. 15 février 2014
Par John A. Antonelli - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
If you are a train nut you will not particularly like this book. It is not so much a history of trains and railroads throughout the world it is more a story of how the trains have impacted world history and how people of impacted the trains. So instead of capacities of engines and routes and history of routes, while there is a little bit of that in there you get more of the personalities of the people involved in making inventions that made the trains or the people who ride the train or the people work the trains. Also the history of the areas that are impacted by the train and how the trains impacted the area. Not your typical train book for your typical railfan but in the end now that I think of it rail fans will like this book too.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Fascinating Journey, In Many Ways 14 mars 2014
Par Writer Man - Publié sur
I highly recommend this fascinating book. I'm reading a section or two before bed every night, and it's like getting the chance to travel to intriguing places all over the world. The writing is very strong and poetic, and I love the way Zoellner's lively personal experiences on the trains prompt thought-provoking side trips into history and science and culture. It's intriguing to read how trains have been such a disruptive technology (to use one of today's big buzzwords). For example, Zoellner notes how people used to live inside circles about 25 miles in diameter, with local businesses providing everything they might need. With the advent of the train, suddenly people could shop and work and meet new people beyond the confines of their own village or town. For better and for worse, the world changed in very dramatic ways. Even if you might think that trains are not your thing, you'll be pleasantly surprised by this interesting and very readable book.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Part travelogue, part history, value in both parts, but be aware it's not Theroux 13 mars 2014
Par Armando Fox - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The author takes us along on his rides of half a dozen world-famous long
distance train trips, in each case providing the historical context of
the railroad's role in that country, the cultural/economic/political
significance of that railroad or of that particular route, and so on.
The result is part travelogue and part history, neither part
comprehensive, but certainly entertaining, especially for fans of rail

Supporting Theroux's assertion that railroads are microcosms of their
countries, part of the interest is that the journeys could not be more
different because of their history and cultural embedding: the
trans-Siberian railway, the new Chinese high-speed line to Tibet, the
Indian Railways, the journey crossing the US from Chicago to LA, etc.
Zoellner pays particular attention to the economic and cultural
significance of these runs.

Without railroads, the extractive industries that drove colonialization
and expansion in the USA, South America, and India would not have been
possible, nor would the efficient movement of millions of prisoners to
concentration camps in Nazi Germany; and the author concludes the
Chinese have similar aspirations to "colonize" Tibet and thereby
permanently end any discussions of its independence. At the same time,
the very trains that were the ultimate symbol of British colonialism in
India now represent unprecedented mobility for its masses, and the
trains that served as symbols of white oppression in the antebellum
American South soon became the vehicles that transported free blacks to
Chicago in search of a new middle-class life.

The author is at his best when he doesn't try to affect Paul Theroux -
it's not clear he's found his own voice, since the historical parts of
the narrative are written in a quite different voice than the travelogue
parts. He should stick to his natural voice; he's a good writer.
Overall enjoyable, but if you're looking specifically for travel writing
(as opposed to a historico-travel collage), Paul Theroux focuses more
on the "human interactions" side of travel (and this author admits as
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A very fun read 6 février 2014
Par Harriet - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Enjoyable, interesting, and very well written. I am not a train enthusiast, but the author uses trains as a window into global history, current issues, and questions about where America is headed next.
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