Francaviglia looks anew at the geographical-historical context
of the driving of the golden spike in May 1869. He gazes outward
from the site of the transcontinental railroad's completion-the
summit of a remote mountain range that extends south into the Great
Salt Lake. The transportation corridor that for the first time
linked America's coasts gave this distinctive region significance,
but it anchored two centuries of human activity linked to the
Francaviglia brings to that larger story a geographer's
perspective on place and society, a railroad enthusiast's knowledge
of trains, a cartographic historian's understanding of the
knowledge and experience embedded in maps, and a desert lover's
appreciation of the striking basin-and-range landscape that borders
the Great Salt Lake.
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