Mark Ruwedel

Tonopah and Tidewater #23, 2002

Carson and Colorado #2, 1995

San Diego and Arizona Eastern #7, 2003

Mark Ruwedel’s Westward the Course of Empire is a book that needs to be seen.

*The grades, cuts, tunnels, and trestles depicted in Ruwedel’s photographs speak to a past triumph of technology over what was often perceived as hostile terrain, as well as to the desire and struggle to create wealth and power from the land. Long abandoned (and in some cases never completed), the railroads also evoke the futility of the enterprise. This book is thus a sublime yet restrained elegy to the land and to the follies and wonders of human ambition.

You can find an excellent review of Westward the Course of Empire at 5B4.

© Mark Ruwedel

* excerpt from Yale University Press preview

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