Historian Kathleen Waters Sander tells the story of B&O Railroad President John W. Garrett and the B&O’s plan to build a rail line from Baltimore over the Allegheny Mountains to the Ohio River. The B&O’s success ignited "railroad fever" and helped to catapult railroading to America’s most influential industry in the nineteenth century. After the Civil War, John W. Garrett became one of the first of the famed Gilded Age tycoons, rising to unimagined power and wealth. Sander explores how—when he was not fighting fierce railroad wars with competitors—Garrett steered the B&O into highly successful entrepreneurial endeavors, quadrupling track mileage to reach important commercial markets, jumpstarting Baltimore’s moribund postwar economy, and constructing lavish hotels in Western Maryland to open tourism in the region.
Kathleen Waters Sander teaches history at the University of Maryland University College. She is the author of "The Business of Charity: The Woman’s Exchange Movement, 1832–1900" and "Mary Elizabeth Garrett: Society and Philanthropy in the Gilded Age."
Description courtesy of Johns Hopkins University Press.