Maury Klein


Maury Klein taught United States history at URI for 44 years.  During that time he also served as chairman of the Theatre Department for four years and performed in more than a dozen university and other productions.  The subjects of his 18 books include a three-volume history of the Union Pacific Railroad, biographies of Jay Gould and E. H. Harriman, the coming of the Civil War, the stock market crash of 1929, the steam and power revolution, and a study of how the nation mobilized for World War II.  He has published innumerable articles in both professional journals and popular magazines such as Sports Illustrated.  He enjoys an international reputation in the fields of business and economic history.  In 2014 he was awarded an Emmy for best writing of a documentary, and in 2011 he was elected to the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.  Along with writing, speaking engagements, and consulting work he continues to teach in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at URI.


  • American business
  • Economic history
  • Civil War


  • Harvard Business School, Newcomen Fellow, 1966-1967
  • Emory University, Ph.D., 1965
  • Emory University, M.A., 1961
  • Knox College, B.A., 1960

Selected Publications


The Great Richmond Terminal (1970)

Edward Porter Alexander (1971)

A History of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad (1972)

Prisoners of Progress: American Industrial Cities, 1850-1920 with Harvey A. Kantor (1976)

The Life and Legend of Jay Gould (1986)

Union Pacific: The Birth, 1862-1893 (1987)

Union Pacific: The Rebirth, 1894-1969 (1990)

The Flowering of the Third America (1993)

Unfinished Business: The Railroad in American Life (1994)

Days of Defiance: Secession, Slavery, and the Civil War (1997)

The Life and Legend of E. H. Harriman (Press, 2000)

Rainbow’s End: The Crash of 1929 (2001)

The Change Makers (2003)

The Genesis of Industrial America, 1870-1920 (2007)

The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity and the Men Who Invented Modern America (2008)

Union Pacific: The Reconfiguration (New York, 2011)

A Call to Arms: Mobilizing America for World War II (New York, 2013)

Stealing Games: How John McGraw Transformed Baseball with the 1911 New York Giants (2016)