Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad
By Gordon H. Chang
Why this book?
For Chinese history and railroad enthusiasts, this is a must-read. Gordon Chang is a professor of American history at Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences. His book, with thorough and detailed research as its foundation, corrects a historical injustice of silence. It shines a light on the Chinese railroad workers who did the lion’s share of heavy lifting, blasting, and rock moving to complete the Central Pacific Railroad’s (CPRR) share of the Transcontinental Railroad. It’s an enlightening and smooth read, even for a layperson.
Once Ghosts of Gold Mountain was published, it quickly rose to the top of my research resources. I live near Donner Summit’s infamous Tunnel #6. Every time I put on my headlamp to walk through it, I marvel at the massive undertaking. This tunnel and the workers behind it are the inspiration for my current historical novel. If Professor Chang ever reads it, I hope he’s gratified to know that many of his research findings are included.
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