Preachers railed against it: "Traveling at speeds up to 20 miles per hour went against the Lord's plan!" Doctors told their patients that traveling on it would cause serious physical and mental ailments, including the boiling of the blood. Newspapers cried out, "It is a topsy-turvy, harum-scarum whirligig!" But it didn't matter: America loved the train and the freedom of movement that came with it. Riding the Rails in America traces the dynamic relationship of America with the train, showing how the railroad was the single largest influence on the development of the nation's history and economy as it became possible to move freight and people farther and faster than ever before.
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