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Waterloo50

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I wouldn’t mind getting this book but I’ve read mixed reviews of it, one review of the book claims ‘While originally well received by the public at large, many reviews of the book by professional historians and other scholars, researchers, and experts in the field appearing in the weeks and months after its release were highly critical of the work as being poorly researched and edited as well as inadequately fact checked.

Has anyone here on the forum read it and is it worth buying?
97770BA6-4DD5-4D06-9FB2-A1B8C451C028.jpeg
 

Rogue

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I read a few years ago. I am far from an expert on anything to do with the subject. I had read some of Ambrose's WW II books, so i gave it a try. I remember being awed by the scope of the work that was done in the mountains to make the railraod. If i remember correctly, parts of the book were slow reading. Overall, I enjoyed reading it and gained some new knowledge into a subject i did not know much about.
 

John Winn

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I have it and enjoyed it a great deal. It isn't my habit to cross-check statements of fact and read all the footnote references so I suppose I can't say if all his history is correct but as I've lived in the west for some years now I can say things seemed to agree with other bits of railroad history I'm familiar with. It's a great story.
 
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Waterloo50

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I have it and enjoyed it a great deal. It isn't my habit to cross-check statements of fact and read all the footnote references so I suppose I can't say if all his history is correct but as I've lived in the west for some years now I can say things seemed to agree with other bits of railroad history I'm familiar with. It's a great story.
Thanks John, I think I’ll buy it.
 

Waterloo50

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I read a few years ago. I am far from an expert on anything to do with the subject. I had read some of Ambrose's WW II books, so i gave it a try. I remember being awed by the scope of the work that was done in the mountains to make the railraod. If i remember correctly, parts of the book were slow reading. Overall, I enjoyed reading it and gained some new knowledge into a subject i did not know much about.
Thanks for responding, I like the way Ambrose tells a story..I think it’s worth getting.
 

USS ALASKA

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Sir, people seem to have a love / hate relationship with Stephen Ambrose's style. In David Kirkpatrick's article in the New York Times - https://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/11/us/as-historian-s-fame-grows-so-do-questions-on-methods.html - Ambrose is quoted as ''I tell stories,'' Mr. Ambrose said. ''I don't discuss my documents. I discuss the story. It almost gets to the point where, how much is the reader going to take? I am not writing a Ph.D. dissertation.'' when answering charges of plagiarism. And he is pretty well pounded in articles - http://hnn.us/articles/504.html - http://cprr.org/Museum/Books/Comments-Ambrose.html - http://hnn.us/articles/541.html - "The sorry thing in this entire debate is that if only Ambrose had claimed his books were historical novels, and reported the sources copied, his publishers and book sellers and purchasers would have been just as happy. Mr. Ambrose is an interesting story teller and no one can take that away from him. But he is not a very good historian." .

An article in the Sacramento Bee, (which I do not have access to...) 'Barrows, Matthew "Area Historians Rail Against Inaccuracies in Book" The Sacramento Bee, January 1, 2001' cataloged over 60 passages that were researched as having "significant errors, misstatements, and made-up quotes.". So depending upon what your are looking for in this volume - a good story or a factual account of the Transcontinental Railroad - might influence your decision.
56

Cheers,
USS ALASKA
 
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