A lean but provocative, timely, insightful, and forcefully written challenge to the conventional wisdom about industrial America's political economy.
[A] model of sophisticated social science history... Berk forcefully rebuts the assumption found in nearly all historical accounts that the railroad structure that developed was inevitable... As effectively as anyone has, he makes a formidable case that it could have been otherwise.
Berk has offered some powerful questions for future scholars to keep in mind, and no student of railroad history or the history of business can afford to overlook this book.
An ambitious effort to make sense of how the modern American state was fashioned.
Berk's concise volume... provides a reinterpretation along corporate liberal lines of the factors leading to the rise of the great interregional railroad systems in America during latter half of the nineteenth century.
Berk's first-rate study... connects insights from history of technology, law, political science, and organizational history.