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What happens when a PhD in English, a woman, takes a job with the railroad?..specifically, a blue-collar craft job…in 1979? Linda Niemann tells her own story. I was reminded of this book, originally published in 1990, by the recent railway labor troubles and the threatened national strike.
On the Rails is a remarkable document–a book that “is about railroading the way ‘Moby Dick’ is about whaling”, according to a Chicago Sun-Times reviewer. (Although I think a better Melville comparison would be with “White Jacket”, Melville’s book about his experiences as a crewman on an American sailing warship. Which is still very high praise.)