Anthony Burton

Track Records

Blood, Iron & Gold: How the Railways Transformed the World

By

Atlantic Books 373pp £25 order from our bookshop

The attention-grabbing title of this book seems at odds with its more sober subtitle and, as soon becomes apparent, it is the subtitle that is a little misleading. The greater part of the work is taken up with the story of railway construction around the world, and only over half-way through is there very much discussion about what happened once the lines were completed. At least the story Christian Wolmar does tell justifies the main title. There was blood aplenty during the construction period, when the workers on some lines died in their tens of thousands. Iron was certainly used – millions of tons of it. Gold was there for the investors, especially those who were not too concerned with legal niceties. The story is a dramatic one and the author has left none of the five continents out of his narrative. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,