Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad

Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad

by Gordon H. Chang

Hardcover

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Overview


“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 America.” — New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781328618573
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 20,537
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author


GORDON H. CHANG is the Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities and Professor of History at Stanford University, where he also serves as director of the Center for East Asian Studies and codirector of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project. Chang is the author of Fateful Ties and editor of four other books. He lives in Stanford, California.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Guangdong 15

2 Gold Mountain 38

3 Central Pacific 55

4 Foothills 75

5 The High Sierra 98

6 The Summit 121

7 The Strike 138

8 Truckee 165

9 The Golden Spike 188

10 Beyond Promontory 209

Conclusion 237

Acknowledgments 247

Notes 249

Photo Credits 299

Index 301

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