• Nov 26, 2020 9:00 pm
  • 40:50 mins

Guest: Michael Hiltzik, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist, Los Angeles Times, Author of “Iron Empires: Robber Barons, Railroads and the Making of Modern America” The completion of the transcontinental railroad 150 years ago changed America’s culture and economy. But the rail industry was also a pretty big disaster in those first couple of decades—deeply in debt, poorly maintained and rife with corruption. There were hundreds of shorter lines crisscrossing the country that were in cutthroat competition with each other. It was chaotic and terrible for rail travelers, as well as for the US economy. But then, somehow, they coalesced into America’s first mega corporation. The railway tycoons of the early 1900s created the big business playbook still used today—especially by tech leaders like Jeff Bezos at Amazon and Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook. (Originally aired Oct 1, 2020).