Msimone's Reviews > The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America’s First Subway

The Race Underground by Doug Most
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I picked up this book because subway travel like electric light preceded my birth and so I never realized how life changing those inventions were in the 19th century. Overcrowded city streets polluted with the stench of horse manure from coachmen were dangerous and unclean. the overhead street cars powered by steam then electricity were not much improvement to travel safety nor were they immune to snowstorms that shut them down. The underground in the 19th century was a complex undertaking to tunnel underground in cities with varying layers of impenetrable and impenetrable rock. Politicians and entrepreneurs fought over whether the public or private interests would fund the project to build a subway. surveyors and engineers had to come up with plans that would enable digging to take place under major thoroughfares without damage to small business and pedestrian travel above ground. The vision and political skill of the Whitney's in Boston and New York, and the daring.of engineers like Sprague and Parsons, hard labor of.immigrant Italians and.other Europeans, and the financing .of titans such as Belmont and others contributed to the opening of the subway in Boston in 1897 and in New York in 1904. the book has researched the competitive fervor of.these two cities, and the challenges each one faced to get the underground built. Decisions about how deep to dig tunnels, how to secude them against collapse, water, and toxic fumes and darkness through steel enforcement, concrete, ventilator fans and gleaming white tile are fascinating. descriptions about public reaction to the first subway rides of passengers are humorous and colorful what was most enjoyable about this book was its stories about daily life which before the subway when the end of the 19th centuries cities were exploding with Immigrants in overcrowded cities in paralysis during snow storms and floods. The subway crested jobs for immigrants .and kept the daily flow of workers in and outside of the city moving

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Reading Progress

May 7, 2017 – Started Reading
May 7, 2017 – Shelved
May 7, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
May 13, 2017 – Finished Reading

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