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Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad Paperback – Illustrated, May 5, 2020

4.5 out of 5 stars 221 ratings

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Editorial Reviews



“Gripping . . . Chang has accomplished the seemingly impossible . . . He has written a remarkably rich, human, and compelling story of the railroad Chinese.” — Peter Cozzens, Wall Street Journal

“The lived experience of the Railroad Chinese has long been elusive . . . Chang’s book is a moving effort to recover their stories and honor their indispensable contribution to the building of modern America.” — New York Times

“A revelatory narrative… sweeping yet intimate… Chang sets out redress what has been an elemental failure of imagination—a pattern of prejudicial and myopic history-making that has marginalized Chinese railroad workers through amnesia, insults and elisions, effectively ghosting them from American history… Chang’s committed, imaginative, grounded, and reverent narrative ultimately pays proper respect to the ghosts of Gold Mountain, allowing us to see and appreciate their lives.” — Reviews in American History

“A valuable contribution to the history of the Chinese in North America.” Kirkus Reviews

“Ambitious . . . [Chang’s] writing is vibrant and passionate.” Publishers Weekly 

“This epic account will stand as the definitive history of how Chinese laborers, including members of my own family, did monumental work under some of the most difficult physical circumstances imaginable on a project that would eventually transform our country. Fascinating and heartbreaking, Ghosts of Gold Mountain is a must-read.” — Lisa See, New York Times best-selling author of On Gold Mountain and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
“Under Gordon Chang’s inspired pen, the unheralded contribution of Chinese laborers in building America’s first transcontinental railroad bursts into daylight like a mighty locomotive rushing from a mountain tunnel. These ‘Railroad Chinese’ left a rich legacy of herculean construction throughout the American West, and by ably sifting through frequently elusive sources, Dr. Chang brings their individual stories and culture into illuminating focus.” — Walter R. Borneman, author of Iron Horses: America’s Race to Bring the Railroads West
“America is forever indebted to the roughly twenty thousand Chinese workers who built the western portion of the Transcontinental Railroad. Yet their momentous journeys, their dreams and travails, the racism that they endured, and their ultimate triumphs and tragedies have remained only dimly understood and recognized until now. Gordon Chang has finally told their story in a vivid, insightful, and deeply human way.” — Andrés Reséndez, author of The Other Slavery

Ghosts of Gold Mountain is a treasure trove of stories, and of exciting scholarship that answers questions many of us have asked for decades. In this profound and inspiring book, Chang reveals at last how the West was truly won: by Railroad Chinese who literally united these American states.” — David Henry Hwang, author of the Tony Award-winning play M. Butterfly
“Gordon Chang leaves no boulder unturned, nor tunnel unexplored, as he brings vital detail to the lives of the Chinese railroad workers: ‘ghosts’ who are no longer missing in history, thanks to his meticulous research. After a hundred and fifty years, this book sets the record straight.” — Helen Zia, author of Last Boat out of Shanghai

About the Author

GORDON H. CHANG is the Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities and Professor of History at Stanford University, where he also serves as Director of the Center for East Asian Studies and codirector of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project. The author of Fateful Ties and editor of four other books, he lives in Stanford, California.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Mariner; Illustrated edition (May 5, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0358331811
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0358331810
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.31 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 221 ratings

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