The October 2021 issue of Western Writers of America’s Roundup Magazine contains a book review I wrote about From the River to the Sea: The Untold Story of the Railroad War That Made the West by John Sedgwick. The author has written thirteen other books, including literary nonfiction, novels, memoirs, and five collaborations. He has published extensively in numerous magazines.
For those of you who not subscribe to Roundup Magazine I reprint my book review here:
“In the 1870s and 80s, fledgling Santa Fe and Denver & Rio Grande railroads battled each other, sometimes with guns, across the western states and Mexico in their contest to reach the Pacific Ocean. Civil War general William Palmer drove the narrow-gauge Rio Grande through the Rocky Mountains while William Barstow Strong pushed the standard-gauge Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe far beyond its namesake cities. Numerous biographical sketches include Palmer’s eccentric wife, Queenie, who refused to live in his “castle” in Colorado Springs. Among Palmer’s and Strong’s competitors were “robber barons” Jay Gould and Collis Huntington. In 1887, the Santa Fe reached the sleepy pueblo of Los Angeles and stimulated that city’s explosive development. The Rio Grande made it as far as Ogden, Utah, and eventually wound up as part of the Union Pacific. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe is now the largest railroad in the United States. Excellent maps and photographs augment Sedgwick’s thoroughly researched text.”
From the River to the Sea is published by Avid Reader Press, a Simon & Schuster imprint, in paperback for $30.00 and is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and independent bookstores.
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