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Richard White talks about how the transcontinental railroads transformed the nation in the late 19th century. His book Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America focuses on railroads as the first corporate behemoths, and how their attempts to generate profits from proliferating debt sparked devastating panics in the U.S. economy. The railroads also remade the landscape of the West and opened new worlds of work and ways of life.