This is the incredible story of Alfred Beach, the visionary engineer who built New York City's first subway, taking on Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall politics in 19th century New York City.
In the late 1860s, Beach set out to solve the problem of the city's congested streets. He built a tunnel, single station, and subway car with his own money. Many believed this new system could be the first step toward a wider transportation network. But Boss Tweed intervened and the subway system Beach envisioned remained buried in the realm of dreams.
The station, tunnel, and carexcept for the decaying wooden parts lie buried beneath the city's streets to this day, an interred monument to a dream cruelly killed by political greed and jealousy.
Martin Sandler is an historian and the author of more than 50 books. He is the winner of a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award for The Story of American Photography: An Illustrated History for Young People. He has won seven Emmy Awards and was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He has taught American history and American studies at the University of Massachusetts and Smith College.