Published by Joseph Jung on behalf of the Alfred Escher Foundation,
with contributions by Claudia Aufdermauer, Basil Böhni, Lisa Bollinger, Bruno Fischer, Josef Inauen, Joseph Jung, Björn Koch und Vincent Pick
Publisher: NZZ Libro
Size: 307 pages
Volume 6 of the “Alfred Escher | Letters” series examines a pivotal chapter in Switzerland’s history. It gives an exciting first glimpse into the final years of Escher’s accomplished life. This is the final volume in the series of letters published starting in 2008.
This publication focuses on Alfred Escher’s autumn years. In Zurich, 1868 was a time of dramatic political changes. The populace was calling for the right to be heard. Pamphleteers and critics of all kinds were taking aim at Escher’s liberal system. In 1869, Zurich received a new cantonal constitution. After this, the democratic movement stripped many leading liberal politicians of their offices and titles. Yet despite the hostilities, Escher was still selected as a Member of the Zurich Cantonal Parliament and the National Council.
Against this backdrop and in spite of the crisis in private rail companies, Escher succeeded in creating a crowning achievement: the Gotthard railway. Thanks to highly professional promotional activities, concerted lobbying, and skills and expertise, Escher was able to bring Switzerland’s neighboring countries of Germany and Italy on board for the Gotthard project.