The Union Pacific Railroad is renowned as Americaâ€™s first transcontinental railroad and is one of the strongest companies in the railroad industry today. The laying of the golden spike in Promontory, Utah, in 1869 marked not only the opening of the continent to settlement but also the transformation of the United States from an agricultural nation to an industrial one.Maury Klein, Americaâ€™s foremost railroad historian, re-creates the powerful personalities and dramatic events that led to the construction of this legendary railroad. Fully illustrated with over one hundred historic photographs and maps, Union Pacific details the feat of engineering and human strength that conquered the terrain of the desert and mountains and also the colorful wheelings and dealings that were waged in executive boardrooms in New York and Boston and in the chambers of Congress as dreamers and scoundrels, politicians and patriots forged a pioneering enterprise in transportation. Maury Klein is professor of history at the University of Rhode Island. He is the author of several books, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Life and Legend of Jay Gould.