Author: Les Standiford
Publisher: Broadway Books
Release Date: 2003-08-05
The fast-paced and gripping true account of the extraordinary construction and spectacular demise of the Key West Railroad—one of the greatest engineering feats ever undertaken, destroyed in one fell swoop by the strongest storm ever to hit U.S. shores. In 1904, the brilliant and driven entrepreneur Henry Flagler, partner to John D. Rockefeller, dreamed of a railway connecting the island of Key West to the Florida mainland, crossing a staggering 153 miles of open ocean—an engineering challenge beyond even that of the Panama Canal. Many considered the project impossible, but build it they did. The railroad stood as a magnificent achievement for more than twenty-two years, heralded as “the Eighth Wonder of the World,” until its total destruction in 1935's deadly storm of the century. In Last Train to Paradise, Standiford celebrates this crowning achievement of Gilded Age ambition, bringing to life a sweeping tale of the powerful forces of human ingenuity colliding with the even greater forces of nature’s wrath.
An exciting biography about the man who changed Florida's east coast with his hotels and his Florida East Coast Railway Henry Morrison Flagler was already a millionaire when he first visited Florida in 1878. He liked what he saw. He came back and built railroads along the east coast so that others could more easily travel there; And he built grand hotels so that those who came had a beautiful place to stay. By the end of his long and productive life, he had built a railroad all the way to the very end of the Florida Keys. It arrived in Key West in 1912. Henry Flagler was very determined and practical. He met all the great challenges he set for himself. "It is no exaggeration to say that Henry Flagler `invented' modern Florida. And, Henry Flagler, Builder of Florida provides a wonderful account of just how he did it." ---John M. Blades, Executive Director of the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum.
Although several people had considered constructing a railroad to Key West beginning in the early 1800s, it took a bold industrialist with unparalleled vision to make it happen. In 1902, Henry Flagler made the decision to extend the Florida East Coast Railway to "the nearest deepwater American port." In this book, renowned Florida historian Seth H. Bramson reveals how the Key West Extension of the Flagler-owned FEC became the greatest railroad engineering and construction feat in U.S., and possibly world, history, an accomplishment that would cement Flagler's fame and legend for all time. Join Bramson as he recounts the years of operation of this great railroad, what it did for the Florida Keys and what it meant to the resident conchs.
Author: Sidney Walter Martin
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Release Date: 2010-02-01
Henry Morrison Flagler (1830-1913) was a railroad tycoon and partner with John D. Rockefeller in the Standard Oil Company. Although most of his fortune was made in the North, he devoted the better part of his life and his wealth to the development of Florida. Published in 1949, Florida's Flagler was the first biography of Flagler, tracing his life from his heritage and youth through his early dealings in grain, his association with Rockefeller, and his later activities in Florida. Sidney Walter Martin presents a colorful and authoritative account of the accomplishments and failures of this controversial figure.
Author: Les Standiford
Publisher: Broadway Books
Release Date: 2005-05-10
Here is history that reads like fiction: the riveting story of two founding fathers of American industry—Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick—and the bloody steelworkers’ strike that transformed their fabled partnership into a furious rivalry. Author Les Standiford begins at the bitter end, when the dying Carnegie proposes a final meeting after two decades of separation, probably to ease his conscience. Frick’s reply: “Tell him that I’ll meet him in hell.” It is a fitting epitaph. Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, a time when Horatio Alger preached the gospel of upward mobility and expansionism went hand in hand with optimism, Meet You in Hell is a classic tale of two men who embodied the best and worst of American capitalism. Standiford conjures up the majesty and danger of steel manufacturing, the rough-and-tumble of late-nineteenth-century big business, and the fraught relationship of “the world’s richest man” and the ruthless coke magnate to whom he entrusted his companies. Enamored of Social Darwinism, the emerging school of thought that applied the notion of survival of the fittest to human society, both Carnegie and Frick would introduce revolutionary new efficiencies and meticulous cost control to their enterprises, and would quickly come to dominate the world steel market. But their partnership had a dark side, revealed most starkly by their brutal handling of the Homestead Steel Strike of 1892. When Frick, acting on Carnegie’s orders to do whatever was necessary, unleashed three hundred Pinkerton detectives, the result was the deadliest clash between management and labor in U.S. history. WHILE BLOOD FLOWED, FRICK SMOKED ran one newspaper headline. The public was outraged. An anarchist tried to assassinate Frick. Even today, the names Carnegie and Frick cannot be uttered in some union-friendly communities. Resplendent with tales of backroom chicanery, bankruptcy, philanthropy, and personal idiosyncrasy, Meet You in Hell is a fitting successor to Les Standiford’s masterly Last Train to Paradise. Artfully weaving the relationship of these titans through the larger story of a young nation’s economic rise, Standiford has created an extraordinary work of popular history. From the Hardcover edition.
True tales of writers and pirates, painters and potheads, guitar pickers and drug merchants in America’s southernmost city For Hemingway and Fitzgerald, there was Paris in the twenties. For others, later, there was Greenwich Village, Big Sur, and Woodstock. But for an even later generation—one defined by the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Tom McGuane, and Hunter S. Thompson—there was another moveable feast: KeyWest, Florida. The small town on the two-by-four-mile island has long been an artistic haven, a wild refuge for people of all persuasions, and the inspirational home for a league of great American writers. Some of the artists went there to be literary he-men. Some went to re-create themselves. Others just went to disappear—and succeeded. No matter what inspired the trip, Key West in the seventies was the right place at the right time, where and when an astonishing collection of artists wove a web of creative inspiration. Mile Marker Zero tells the story of how these writers and artists found their identities in Key West and maintained their friendships over the decades, despite oceans of booze and boatloads of pot, through serial marriages and sexual escapades, in that dangerous paradise. Unlike the “Lost Generation” of Paris in the twenties, we have a generation that invented, reinvented, and found itself at the unending cocktail party at the end—and the beginning—of America’s highway. From the Hardcover edition.
Discover how one spectacular building project revolutionized Miami, how one man's moxie helped turn a fractious tropical city into a cultural capital of the Americas. In Center of Dreams, New York Times bestselling author Les Standiford tells the inspiring story of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. The vision for this building, which would become the most ambitious cultural arts complex since the Kennedy Center, began in an unlikely place and time. Miami in the 1970s was divided by social and ethnic tensions. The city comprised a growing population of immigrants from the Cuban revolution, a well-established African American community, Florida "crackers," and a continual influx of tourists and retirees. Critics said a cultural center would never be possible in a place of such extreme diversity. But Parker Thomson, a lawyer and Boston transplant, knew his adopted city could become a world-leading community in the twenty-first century. He believed a performing arts center was critical to this vision. Everyone said his dream was impossible, he would never succeed, it couldn't be done. Not in Miami. But Thomson persevered against political opposition, economic roadblocks, and engineering problems. It took thirty years to overcome the odds and the obstacles, but he finally made the dream a reality. With Thomson's efforts, along with help from cultural leaders, iconic design work by architect Cesar Pelli, and support from philanthropist Adrienne Arsht, the center opened its doors in 2006 with a star-studded gala. Today the Arsht Center is a cutting-edge venue of style and art, a landmark beloved by the city's residents, and a magnet for tourists from all over the world. Presenting performances that celebrate the richness of Miami's diverse population, it showcases emerging local artists and attracts international stars. Resident companies include the New World Symphony, the Florida Grand Opera, and the Miami City Ballet. Its improbable story is a testament to the influence of cultural advocacy, the importance of government support for the arts, and the power of the arts to repair and sustain communities.
Provides a history of the Florida East Coast Railway, from its inception through 2001, including entrepreneur Henry Flagler's attempt to construct a railway that would connect Key West to the Florida mainland.
Author: Willie Drye
Publisher: National Geographic Society
Release Date: 2002
A chronicle of the most powerful hurricane ever to hit the United States and its aftermath details the storm of September 1935 as seen by survivors, Federal Emergency Relief Administration staff, and government officials.
Author: Stuart B. McIver
Publisher: Pineapple Press Inc
Release Date: 2002
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Learn of Hemingway's doomed love affairs, his patriotic activities during World War II, and his writing experiences in an old farmhouse in Cuba. Hear from Hemingway contemporaries and scholars about the man and the town that he made famous.
The building of Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway extension over water to Key West from 1905 to 1916 was s triumph of engineering and logistics. The Keys were remote and with little means of communication. The massive amounts of materials had to be moved with steam power. This book tells the story of the planners and their plan and its execution. It has 250 old photos, most of which have never been published before.
Recounts how Texas oil transformed wealth and power in America through the stories of the state's four most influential oil families, tracing how they rose from modest backgrounds, shaped the government, and bankrolled the rise of modern conservatism.
Author: Frank Oppel
Publisher: Castle Books
Release Date: 2008-05-15
One hundred years ago, Florida was a wilderness of swamp and beach, dense forest and abundant wild game. Undiscovered, except for a few pioneer sportsmen and hearty farmers and ranchers, the state was still a frontier. True, a few towns flourished on the fishing and the Caribbean trade, but it was generally a sleepy place, far removed from the later boom of the 1920s. Here is a collection of original articles and stories of the old Florida, of hunters and Indians, the development of the sportsman's paradise, the vast canvas of nature prior to the coming of the condominium. Illustrated with rare drawings, photographs and engravings, this book will recreate a paradise that can never be again.