The fabulous life of George Francis Train brings certain phases of the latter half of the 19th century into focus. His was a life full of adventure, financial, political, lost causes, travels round the world, fourteen sojourns in jail! At 17 he worked for his uncle's shipping firm; he went to Australia and launched his own company; he was instrumental in establishing the Atlantic and Great Western RR, and later the Union Pacific; he built street railways in Britain, but was stopped midway by his identification with the Union cause in the Civil War; he hobnobbed with royalty and campaigned for Irish Republicanism; he started new projects with gusto and never stayed with them. He wrote, lectured, made and spent and lost vast sums, kept himself in the limelight, and died- a crank and crackpot- at 75. An odd slice of American portraiture, which merits reading as sheer entertainment, but needs salesmanship to put it over.