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"Empire's Tracks" reframes the history of the Transcontinental Railroad

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On this edition of Your Call, we’ll speak with Manu Karuka about his new book Empire’s Tracks.

It tells the story of the transcontinental railroad from the perspectives of the Cheyenne, Lakota, and Pawnee tribes and the Chinese workers who built it. He includes the context of violent histories of colonialism and capitalism around the world, and links military occupation to exclusionary border policies. How do these important perspectives and context change the narrative of US history?

Guest:

Manu Karuka, assistant professor of American Studies at Barnard College, and author of Empire’s Tracks: Indigenous Nations, Chinese Workers, and the Transcontinental Railroad

Web Resources:

KPIX: San Francisco Museum Exhibition Shines New Light on Dark Side of Progress

California Historical Society: Empire's Tracks: Indigenous Nations, Chinese Workers, and the Transcontinental Railroad

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular Friday media roundtable guest in 2001.