Friday, June 17, 2011

Richard White's Railroaded Attracts Media Attention

We mentioned here earlier Richard White's op-ed piece on high-speed rail, in which he drew on his new work on the transcontinental railroad. The recently published book, Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America (W. W. Norton, May 2011), has been attracting general media attention. White and the book were featured on the June 13 broadcast of the Diane Rehm Show on NPR, and it has been reviewed for Slate by Donald Worster and by John Steele Gordon for the Wall Street Journal. White himself has now offered his assessment on the Page 99 Test website. Excerpts from the book are available on the Norton site.
    Business historians will be cheered by White's remarks in one of his notes:
Most American historians have relegated the study of corporations to the subfield of business history. Business historians have thrived on the neglect of their colleagues and created an impressive body of literature that should be better integrated into the larger narratives of American and Canadian history (p. 538n8).
BHC members will remember that White participated (with Lizabeth Cohen of Harvard University) in the Presidential Plenary Session at the 2008 annual meeting,  entitled "Putting Business Back in History."
   Update, July 18: The book was reviewed by Michael Kazin in the July 17 New York Times Book Review. Video interviews are also now available: one with David Kennedy on C-Span's Book TV and one with Thom Hartmann on YouTube. An audio interview from NPR's "Morning Edition" has now been posted as well.
   Update, September 4: Robin Einhorn reviews the book for The Nation.