Making Tracks: An American Rail Odyssey

Terry Pindell, Author Grove/Atlantic $22.95 (399p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1279-8
In 1988 Pindell, on leave from his job as a teacher, and having recently failed to be elected mayor of Keene, N.H., took a train ride, traveling each of Amtrak's 31 lines, covering 30,000 miles and visiting all but three of 48 contiguous states. His captivating account of that year is both travelogue and history lesson. Although Pindell does not fail to detail the disagreeable--schedule delays and some unlovely company--he concentrates on the salubrious aspects of passenger life and shows that trains offer a unique way of seeing the U.S. This grandson of a railroad engineer also recalls how the great railway empires were built, with chicanery and constructions often working hand in hand, and relates delightful train legends, such as one about Daddy Joe, the Paul Bunyan of Pullman porters. ( July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
Paperback - 399 pages - 978-0-8050-1740-3
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