❰PDF / Epub❯ ☉ Ghosts of Gold Mountain Author Gordon H. Chang – Transportjobsite.co.uk

Ghosts of Gold Mountain summary Ghosts of Gold Mountain , series Ghosts of Gold Mountain , book Ghosts of Gold Mountain , pdf Ghosts of Gold Mountain , Ghosts of Gold Mountain bbd4a74d36 Gripping Chang Has Accomplished The Seemingly Impossible He Has Written A Remarkably Rich, Human And Compelling Story Of The Railroad Chinese Peter Cozzens, Wall Street Journal A Groundbreaking, Breathtaking History Of The Chinese Workers Who Built The Transcontinental Railroad, Helping To Forge Modern America Only To Disappear Into The Shadows Of History Until Now From Across The Sea, They Came By The Thousands, Escaping War And Poverty In Southern China To Seek Their Fortunes In America Converging On The Enormous Western Worksite Of The Transcontinental Railroad, The Migrants Spent Years Dynamiting Tunnels Through The Snow Packed Cliffs Of The Sierra Nevada And Laying Tracks Across The Burning Utah Desert Their Sweat And Blood Fueled The Ascent Of An Interlinked, Industrial United States But Those Of Them Who Survived This Perilous Effort Would Suffer A Different Kind Of Death A Historical One, As They Were Pushed First To The Margins Of American Life And Then To The Fringes Of Public Memory In This Groundbreaking Account, Award Winning Scholar Gordon H Chang Draws On Unprecedented Research To Recover The Chinese Railroad Workers Stories And Celebrate Their Role In Remaking America An Invaluable Correction Of A Great Historical Injustice, The Ghosts Of Gold Mountain Returns These Silent Spikes To Their Rightful Place In Our National Saga The Lived Experience Of The Railroad Chinese Has Long Been Elusive Chang S Book Is A Moving Effort To Recover Their Stories And Honor Their Indispensable Contribution To The Building Of Modern AmericaThe New York Times


10 thoughts on “Ghosts of Gold Mountain

  1. says:

    May 2019 is the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike ceremony, so it s fitting for this groundbreaking new book, one which tells the story of the Railroad Chinese, as the author calls them, in detail for the first time To build the transcontinental railroad, to bind the nation east and west after a war dividing it north and south, the Pacific end of the venture the Central Pacific RR, building eastward from Sacramento needed workers The nearest source of labor was China.This is the first railroad history that tells of the roughly 20,000 Chinese workers who built the Central Pacific RR The author is a Stanford history professor who presided over the project to research these workers, using English and Chinese language materials, both in the US and in China He tells of the workers origins in the Guangdong region of southeast China, near Hong Kong, their ways of life and their culture and their striving Their voyages to California, their early construction work, their economic and contractual infrastructure in San Francisco, all this is in rich detail, researched through ship manifests, immigration and business records of the Chinese community, as well as the farm and provisioning economy they built to feed their workers We now have at least a few names of the people who did this, people nameless in history till now.This is a record of the skill, courage, tenacity and hard work of these workers It s a heroic story they had to dig by hand and by explosives through the snow laden and granite mountains over Donner Summit, under terrible winter conditions and dangerous terrain Prof Chang s researchers did considerable research of archaeological digs at work camps along the RR route, as well as from ship manifests and business records regarding the Chinese community, the immigrants, and their provisioning the railroad workers More and , we see poignant stories of the dead at least 1,200 by most accounts and the efforts to get their bodies home for proper burial, lest they be hungry ghosts wandering a land far from their ancestral homes.Their efforts are central to American history, and deserve this recognition The first transcontinental railroad, over Donner Summit and through the Nevada desert, could not have been built without them Many Railroad Chinese would go on to be indispensable to other major railroad projects soon after the Northern Pacific, the Southern Pacific, the rail net in California and Oregon, the Canadian Pacific Their hard work and technical skill no accident the Chinese knew about using gunpowder, for instance, they invented it would be of the highest quality It made the U.S economy rich and well knitWe also read how cruelly the settlers, newly arrived by new railroad, treated the Railroad Chinese, a reign of terror and murder that would drive them from newly build towns like Auburn and Truckee along the route, and all across the West That, and the immigration exclusion laws urged by Western representatives, would blunt their numbers and drive many away Some Chinese did cling to the West, and the book tells of their tribulations and endurance.This book is based on meticulous research, sensitively written, and enthralling It is indispensable to histories of the American West, its railroads, its society and racial struggles Highest recommendation Reviewed from an advance reading copy by Vine.


  2. says:

    Note I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley Throughout this work, author Gordon Chang rightfully laments the current lack of firsthand accounts from any of the Chinese migrants who helped construct the Transcontinental Railroad However, if he hadn t called attention to this issue so plainly, I m genuinely unsure if it s something that I would have been able to pick up on That s because through drawing upon a diverse and wide range of resources and research, Chang is still able to construct an incredibly thorough and detailed picture of who the Chinese workers on the Central Pacific Line were, where they came from, and what kind lives that they lived as they help connect America from coast to coast Ghosts of Gold Mountain is nothing less than a fantastic feat of scholarship that not merely shines a spotlight onto a group that have nearly vanished from America s historical memory, but makes them all come alive again.


  3. says:

    I only slightly knew of the Chinese contributions to the building of the Transcontinental Railroad This enlightening book opened my eyes, so to speak, to the enormous part played by these men, and to their sacrifices and dedication in doing so Without their efforts, the western half of the railroad would not have been completed, certainly not in any reasonable time frame This is history at its finest And, it helps me fill in some gaps in my knowledge of American history, as well as to make me appreciate and have respect for people from a foreign country who made our country a better place by their hard work and the example they set.


  4. says:

    The western portion of the Transcontinental Railroad was built almost entirely by immigrant Chinese, 20,000 or so of them I expect most of us are vaguely aware of that, and I expect most of us are aware this was hard, dangerous work Begun in 1864, finished in 1869, this portion stretches from Sacramento across the Sierra Nevadas, to the desert scrub of Promontory Point, Utah, a distance of 690 miles This is history we think we learned in eighth grade Gordon Chang takes our tiny tidbit and returns a thoroughly human story, extensively researched and rich in detail.There was an impression then, and I suspect now, that the Railroad Chinese were enslaved workers, but California the Gold Mountain of the title was a free state, so it was important that incoming Chinese laborers were not being traded as slaves Most of these men were contract workers who came willingly, following opportunity However, Chinese women were bought in China and sold here as prostitutes, primarily for the Railroad Chinese hmmm, the sex trade, as old as time and still with us today unfortunately.All the work was done by hand men with hand tools, wheelbarrows, black powder a Chinese invention , horse carts and supply trains as the tracks extended Teams of three men using an eight pound sledge hammer and a pole with crude bit end could tap roughly three blasting holes a day, mile after mile, for roadbeds and tunnels Avalanches, explosions and fire, rock slides, entrapment, maiming injuries that would, as likely as not, ultimately kill a man We can only estimate the number of deaths, however Complete and or accurate records of workers don t exist The railroad united our country coast to coast, but, except for a scant few, we don t even know who these men were the survivors or the fallen.After the railroad was completed, some of the Railroad Chinese went back to China as they d planned to do Some continued as railroad workers here, in Canada, and elsewhere Some remained, took jobs or opened businesses, and their descendants live among us However, federal law immigration law prohibited anyone born in China from becoming a naturalized citizen, and that law was not changed until 1943 Nothing brings today into focus as blindingly as history does, and so I offer you Ghosts of Gold Mountain, a thorough, scholarly work and a good read as well.Available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on May 7.Full Disclosure A review copy of this book was provided to me by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I would like to thank the publisher, the author and NetGalley for providing me this opportunity All opinions expressed herein are my own.


  5. says:

    Perhaps my expectations were a little too high for this book I thought this would provide specific detail than I ve received in reading other books about the construction of the intercontinental railroad, like Stephen Ambrose s, Nothing Like It In The World The detail here is extensive however, the addition of detail about the Chinese doesn t make the narrative flow or the book any enjoyable to read It would have made a better long read in a magazine or journal, but to me doesn t hold up in book length.The detail is extensive the reader can tell that Mr Chang has done meticulous research to investigate this topic which if close to his heart Implied is that perhaps some of his relatives were railroad workers during this period There just wasn t enough meat on the bone for me It seemed like there was a good story here which he told, just not to the length and with the repetition Chang provided.


  6. says:

    Gordon H Chang has written a fascinating account of the labor and technology involved in building the Transcontinental Railroad For seven years, two railroad companies raced towards each other across some 1,900 miles of the United States, completing a link between the East and West coasts It was a monumental task and featured the tireless work of an estimated 20,000 Chinese laborers, 90 percent of Central Pacific s workforce, who toiled under brutal working conditions, particularly in the Sierra Nevada Their story is covered extensively in his Ghosts of Gold Mountain Chang is professor of humanities and history at Stanford University His work is impeccably researched with extensive notes taken from historical writings, ship manifests, payroll records, and archeological findings He admits to having little information at his disposal because records were not faithfully maintained which makes his accounting even remarkable But it s all here, the physical and economic struggle of completing over 1900 miles of track between Omaha, Nebraska the edge of the existing eastern rail network and San Francisco Bay.On May 10, 1869, the Central Pacific, and the Union Pacific finally came together at Promontory, Utah The completed route made the transportation of goods and passengers considerably faster and less expensive Chang s book is mainly focused on the efforts of the Chinese workers who, although initially considered unfit for the job due to their small stature and lack of experience, proved to be stalwart builders eventually winning much praise for their attitudes and the splendid results It s interesting to note that they were not slave workers but were paid for their labors.Chang s efforts here are nearly as herculean as were the Chinese workers and, although somewhat familiar with the conditions under which they struggled, I came away with an even greater sense of admiration for their efforts Every obstacle they faced was overcome with innovation and determination and it is a fitting tribute to their contribution that the travel time from the east was reduced from about five months to a remarkable single week.The workers had to blast and dig their way through solid granite, exist in horrendous climatic conditions, endure heat, dirt, choking dust, smoke, fumes, accidental explosions, falling rocks and trees, and freezing snow Every piece of equipment and all heavy building material had to be manually hauled and installed because of the remote location At the completion of the remarkable project, the high accolades for their enormous efforts were universal and well deserved.Be prepared for a couple of weeks to recover after reading this exhausting study of a monumental project.


  7. says:

    At issue in the controversy over the deaths of Chinese who perished during and after the construction of the Pacific Railroad is the deep anguish and anger many felt about the suffering Chinese endured in nineteenth century America, which has yet to be fully acknowledged The grief continues long after the moments of tragedy Numbers can suggest dimensions the deeper question is the meaning of historical experience to the living For many, especially Chinese Americans, the history of the Railroad Chinese requires contending with a painful, aggrieved, and unsettled past Many today who sympathize with the Railroad Chinese say that low end estimates of violent deaths of Chinese during and after the building of the railroads demean them and the blood contribution Chinese have made to America Gordon H Chang, Ghosts of Gold Mountain The Epic Story of the Chinese who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, pg 233 hardcover edition While I initially picked this up for the book by a Asian American author square of my local library s summer reading challenge, this turned out to be a fascinating and enlightening look at a mostly forgotten part of American history I think Chang did an excellent job of hunting down what history readers might consider to be non standard evidence oral histories, family stories, etcetera as there appears to be no surviving firsthand documentation such as letters or diaries from the railroad workers themselves and weaving that into a compelling account of what life was probably like during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad My one complaint was that the text was a bit dry in places, but it is an excellent book nonetheless I m happy to have stumbled across it while browsing and I m happy to have read it.


  8. says:

    Stanford University Sinologist Gordon H Chang has taken a bit of history that most of us probably never learned and made it come alive Chinese immigrants to the United States were the major construction force of the Central Pacific Railroad, which connected with the Union Pacific at Promontory Summit Hired at sub market wages, which were still than they might have imagined earning at home, thousands of Chinese men risked their lives to make the Transcontinental Railroad a reality.Chang gives us a look at the region in China from which most of the men hailed, as well as a look at the racism that they faced upon arrival and even after their triumphant accomplishments While there are few primary source documents available from the Railway Chinese themselves, the archaeological record and letters from Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington, Mark Hopkins, et al., provide the gateway to learn about the struggles and celebrations experienced by the men who worked so hard.This was not a leisurely beach read, by any stretch of the imagination The lengthy bibliography and endnotes bear testimony that this is a scholarly work Still, I think it s an important read that teaches a lot about prejudice and demonstrates to today s reader how much work there remains to be done.


  9. says:

    This review is part of the Vine program.I had known before that a lot of Chinese Immigrants came over to work on the railroads back in the 19th century What I didn t know was the extent, the hardship, and just how integral they were to the effort.Ghosts of Gold Mountain is a pretty definitive history of the Railroad Chinese who built the Transcontinental Railroad As definitive as it can be considering there are no first hand accounts themselves from the workers It would seem that no journals, letters, etc have yet been found to hear their side of the story So we are left with historical accounts from newspapers, interviews with white Americans, and other non first person basis But despite this lack of information, Chang weaves a compelling narrative.Imagine how hard it would have been to level out land and lay down track across the mountains Now imagine doing that without any modern technology and only the strength of your back to do it It is amazing what was accomplished But it seems to have come at a high cost An untold number of Chinese died creating the railroad And since no records were kept well, the actual number will never be discovered.Chang s writing is precise, but story telling enough that you don t get bored with it I found myself deeply engrossed and had a lot of trouble putting the book down It was saddening much like a look of most American history but important Why things like this aren t a part of our history classes I ll never fathom.Review by M Reynard 2019


  10. says:

    This was a very informative book, although clearly difficult for the author to write based on first hand accounts of the Chinese experience on building the transcontinental railroad, since there are few first hand accounts that have been preserved The author presents much of his material from inference based on similar experiences of Chinese in other situations Nonetheless, there is nothing apparent that would indicate that these inferences cannot be assumed to be correct.The book clearly presents the case for how vastly important and for the Central Pacific, highly critical the individuals from China were to the construction of the railroad Since the CP s work force was overwhelmingly Chinese, the RR would either have not been built at all, or the trackage that the CP was able to complete versus the Union Pacific would have been significantly less, and in all likelihood, the transcontinental RR would have taken much, much longer to complete.The information provided greatly adds to the understanding of the human sacrifice that was necessary for the TCRR to be built Many deaths and much suffering by the Chinese are discussed, and the author makes it evident how terrifying some of the work was Work continued 24 7, though the mountains, requiring vast use of explosives But the discussion of the work necessary to keep the building going, especially the tales of the winter storms in the Sierras and how it was necessary to not only avoid being swept away by avalanches, but to actually have to tunnel thorough huge levels of snowfall to get to the work sites from the residential camps, is harrowing.The only critique of the book I have is the presentation of the photographs Granted, you cannot increase the size of the photos in the book without losing clarity however, it would have been very helpful had the author used some method to point out where in the pictures were the items people he was trying to point out In other words, it would have been helpful to perhaps use a line with text next to the picture although this might not have been permitted by the owners of the photographs Otherwise, it was very difficult to see some very small details Doing this would have added to the understanding of the book s discussions.


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