Books: California Quartet

THE BIG FOUR—Oscar Lewis—Knopf ($4.50).

Readers of recent muckraking histories like Matthew Josephson's The Robber Barons are likely to feel they have heard all they want to about early U. S. railroad builders. In monotonous procession the great figures of the post-Civil War period follow each other—all up to their ears in political intrigues, angling for Federal land grants, corrupting legislatures, double-crossing the public, their stockholders and each other so consistently that it seems remarkable the railroads ever got built.

The Big Four of California (Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!