Author(s): Jonathan Glancey
Jonathan Glancey is a lifelong steam enthusiast who has oiled, fired and driven, as well as watched and listened to, steam locomotives around the world. In Giants of Steam, he turns his enthusiastic and knowledgeable attention to the thrilling story of the last, and greatest, generation of steam railway locomotives in regular main line service. Designed and built chiefly by the railways and workshops of Britain, France, Germany and the United States, these powerful and beautifully designed machines would take steam locomotive technology to new heights set against a backdrop of the political upheavals and military conflicts of the mid twentieth century. A celebration of the last great days of steam, Giants of Steam also commemorates the dedicated and often charismatic engineers who designed and built these effective and emotive machines and put them to use. Glancey tells the stories of the greatest of these 'steam men', among them Nigel Gresley and William Stanier in Great Britain, Andre Chapelon and Marc de Caso in France, William Woodard and Paul Kiefer in the United States and Richard Wagner and Otto Wolff in Germany. And he shows what happened as they faced up to the challenge of modernization and the notion that steam is inherently old fashioned and dirty. Giants of Steam also reveals how steam design has continued to progress against the odds in recent decades, while enthusiasm for the steam locomotive itself is far from burning out. A story of invention, skill and passion, Giants of Steam reveals how the true advocates of steam's glory days pushed its design and performance to remarkable limits.
Jonathan Glancey is well known as the former architecture and design correspondent of the Guardian and Independent newspapers. He is also a steam locomotive enthusiast and pilot. A frequent broadcaster, his books include the bestselling Spitfire: The Biography; Nagaland: A Journey to India's Forgotten Frontier; Tornado: 21st Century Steam; The Story of Architecture and The Train: An Illustrated History.