Doug Most is the deputy managing editor for features at The Boston Globe. He is the author of Always in Our Hearts: The Story of Amy Grossberg, Brian Peterson, the Pregnancy They Hid and the Child They Killed. He has written for Sports Illustrated, Runner's World and Parents and his stories have appeared in Best American Crime Writing and Best American Sports Writing. He lives in Needham, Massachusetts
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Doug Most shares 10 extraordinary stories he learned while writing The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America's First Subway
1. The man who designed the world's first subway, the Underground in London, very nearly designed one of the most important buildings in American history.
Marc Isambard Brunel came to America with a forged passport and found work in upstate New York as a land surveyor. But his ambition took him far. He met the recently resigned U.S. treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton, who saw brilliance in Brunel and helped land him the important job of chief engineer for New York City. He designed theaters and business buildings and then he submitted drawings to build a new capitol building in Washington, D.C., for which there was also a $500 prize. Alas, his proposal was considered too expensive and lavish and a late entry to the contest, an amateur Scottish architect and painter named Dr. William Thornton was chosen for the job instead. That disappointment led to Brunel returning to London soon after, where he would make history with a very different project.
2. Shortly after the world's first subway opened came the world's first secret ...
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