FROM THE BOOK JACKET: In 1869, when the final spike was driven into the Transcontinental Railroad, few were prepared for its seismic aftershocks. Once a hodgepodge of short, squabbling lines, America's railways soon exploded into a titanic industry helmed by a pageant of speculators, crooks, and visionaries. The vicious competition between empire builders such as Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, J. P. Morgan, and E. H. Harriman sparked stock market frenzies, panics, and crashes; provoked strikes that upended the relationship between management and labor; transformed the nation's geography; and culminated in a ferocious two-man battle that shook the nation's financial markets to their foundations and produced dramatic, lasting changes in the interplay of business and government.
 
Spanning four decades and featuring some of the most iconic figures of the Gilded Age, Iron Empires reveals how the robber barons drove the country into the twentieth century--and almost sent it off the rails.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Hiltzik is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author who has covered business, technology, and public policy for the Los Angeles Times for twenty years. In that time he has served as a financial and political writer, an investigative reporter, and a foreign correspondent in Africa and Russia. He currently serves as the Times' business columnist. His other books include Colossus, The Plot Against Social Security, Dealers of Lightning, and A Death in Kenya. He received the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for articles exposing corruption in the entertainment industry. A graduate of Colgate University, he received a master of science degree in journalism from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in 1974. He lives in Southern California with his wife and two children.


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