2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale
2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale__after

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Product Description

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.

Review

“A dramatic story . . . and Les Standiford has a good deal of fun with it all.”
Washington Post Book World

“A definitive account of the engineering feat that became known as ‘Flagler’s Folly’. . . A rousing adventure." Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“A fascinating and incredibly compelling account . . . I could not put it down.” —Donald Trump

“This is the remarkable true-life chronicle of one of America’s greatest engineering achievements, and how it was all blown to bits in a few hellish hours. No novelist could have invented such a stunning tale, or such unforgettable characters.”
—Carl Hiaasen, author of Basket Case

“Last Train to Paradise is a fast-moving and gripping story about one of the most ambitious and difficult engineering projects of the last century.” —Henry Petroski, author of Engineers of Dreams

“This is a wonderfully told tale, a strange and compelling story about a strange and compelling part of the world. With sharp, evocative reporting, the book captures an era, the Florida landscape, and the very human dream of doing the impossible.”
—Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief

“Last Train to Paradise is an extraordinary achievement, a nonfiction book as exciting and finely written as a first-rate novel, with the narrative drive of a locomotive. . . . Throw in Ernest Hemingway and some of the most dramatic scenes of the chaos of a hurricane ever written and you’ve got one hell of a spectacular book.” —James Hall, author of Blackwater Sound and Under Cover of Daylight

“Only one thing could have stopped entrepreneur Henry Flagler: the most powerful storm ever to strike the United States. Les Standiford has given us a rousing—a deeply sobering—story of this 1935 collision between hubris and hurricane in the Florida Keys.” —Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

“Last Train to Paradise is a mesmerizing account of Gilded Age titan Henry Flagler and his extraordinary dream to build a railroad across the sea. Henry Flagler’s quest to build an overseas railroad has all the elements of a classic Greek tragedy, and Les Standiford has captured both the man and his times with pitch perfect grace.”
—Connie May Fowler, author of Before Women Had Wings and When Katie Wakes

From the Inside Flap

Last Train to Paradise is acclaimed novelist Les Standiford''s 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 Labor Day hurricane of 1935. Brilliant and driven entrepreneur Henry Flagler''s dream fulfilled, the Key West Railroad stood as a magnificent achievement for more than twenty-two years, heralded as "the Eighth Wonder of the World." Standiford brings the full force and fury of 1935''s deadly "Storm of the Century" and its sweeping destruction of "the railroad that crossed an ocean" to terrifying life. Last Train to Paradise celebrates a crowning achievement of Gilded Age ambition in a sweeping tale of the powerful forces of human ingenuity colliding with the even greater forces of nature''s wrath.

"A dramatic story . . . and Les Standiford has a good deal of fun with it all." —Washington Post Book World
"A rousing—a deeply sobering—story." —Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
"A fascinating and incredibly compelling account . . . I could not put it down." —Donald Trump
"A definitive account of the engineering feat that became known as ''Flagler''s Folly''. . . A rousing adventure."—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

From the Back Cover

Last Train to Paradise is acclaimed novelist Les Standiford''s 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 Labor Day hurricane of 1935. Brilliant and driven entrepreneur Henry Flagler''s dream fulfilled, the Key West Railroad stood as a magnificent achievement for more than twenty-two years, heralded as "the Eighth Wonder of the World." Standiford brings the full force and fury of 1935''s deadly "Storm of the Century" and its sweeping destruction of "the railroad that crossed an ocean" to terrifying life. Last Train to Paradise celebrates a crowning achievement of Gilded Age ambition in a sweeping tale of the powerful forces of human ingenuity colliding with the even greater forces of nature''s wrath.
"A dramatic story . . . and Les Standiford has a good deal of fun with it all." --"Washington Post Book World
"A rousing--a deeply sobering--story." --Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
"A fascinating and incredibly compelling account . . . I could not put it down." --Donald Trump
"A definitive account of the engineering feat that became known as ''Flagler''s Folly''. . . A rousing adventure."--"Atlanta Journal-Constitution

About the Author

LES STANDIFORD is the author of eight critically acclaimed novels, including most recently Bone Key, as well as several works of nonfiction. He has received the Frank O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. Since 1981 he has lived in Miami with his wife and three children. They are themselves survivors of Hurricane Andrew.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

End of the Line

Key West

Labor Day Weekend, 1935

At about four o''clock in the afternoon on Labor Day Saturday in 1935, Ernest Hemingway, by then one of Key West''s most notable residents, thought it time to knock off work on weaving together what an editor had called "those Harry Morgan stories," an undertaking that would eventually be published as a novel titled To Have and Have Not. He left his studio, went into the kitchen with its tall, built-to-Papa cabinet tops, to pour himself a drink, then walked out onto the spacious porch of the two-story home on Whitehead Street that he and his second wife, Pauline, had bought in 1931.

The day''s work had been good. Now he intended to wind down and have a look at the evening paper.

The weather was typical for late summer in Key West: the temperature in the high eighties, the humidity about the same, but the skies were clear, and there was a sea breeze sweeping over the mile-wide island to soften the heat, especially in the shade of a broad front porch.

It was a new-found pleasure for Hemingway to indulge himself in such a simple fashion, even in his own home. The year before, a zealous Federal Emergency Relief Act administrator had published a pamphlet intended to boost tourism, listing Hemingway''s home as among the top twenty-five attractions on the island of some twelve thousand souls.

Though Hemingway well understood the value of cultivating a certain mystique, it had nonetheless galled him to find himself, on the way to or from his workroom on the second floor of a then-unattached outbuilding, staring back at a queue of gawking visitors on the other side of the chain-link fence that protected his property. Thus, only a few days before, and after much wrangling with a city bureaucracy that considered it an eyesore, work had been completed on a stone wall that now marched about the three open sides of the house''s corner lot, giving him some measure of privacy at last.

It is easy to imagine Hemingway in a reasonably affable mood that afternoon. "Now that I''ve gone private," he''d remarked to his longtime handyman, Toby Bruce, once the wall was up, "they might even take me off the tourist list."

And because it was the off-season, there would be no crowds in Sloppy Joe''s Bar to annoy him during his late-night rounds. Nor had the "mob"--as he sometimes referred to the annual coterie of friends and hangers-on from the North--arrived to lure him from his work on fishing expeditions out to the nearby Gulf Stream or Dry Tortugas, or to an endless round of parties there on land.

Earlier that summer he had turned in a completed manuscript of The Green Hills of Africa, which he privately considered his best writing since Death in the Afternoon. With publication scheduled in October, Hemingway was eager to see if the public''s approbation matched his own. Though he''d had similar hopes for the bullfighting book when it was published in 1932 and had been disappointed by the decidedly mixed opinion of the critics, he was certain he would receive his due this time.

He''d received a nice little bonus in the form of a five- thousand-dollar sale to Scribner''s for the magazine serialization of Death in the Afternoon, things were going well between him and his second wife, Pauline, and he was intrigued with his current project in To Have and Have Not, where he intended to bring fictive life to all the Key West lore and legend that he had accumulated since moving to the island city in 1928.

Not a bad moment, then, not by any stretch of the imagination: the end of a good day''s effort, a drink in hand, a breezy porch to lounge upon for a glance at the day''s events . . . until everything suddenly changed.

Storm warning! was the banner headline Hemingway found in front of him, and, just below, the details of a hurricane feared to be coming Key West''s way.

In those days, weather forecasting was primitive, by modern standards. The storm, which had formed off the coast of Africa sometime during the last week of August, had moved across the Atlantic, undetected by the likes of modern-day satellite eyes or storm-chasing converted bomber planes, and now it was zeroing in on the United States.

Ships steaming southward to Havana were the first to encounter the disturbance, then a minimal hurricane with winds hovering in the seventy-five mile-per-hour range. The reports were forwarded by telegraph back to Miami, where, in good time, newspapers had passed along the news. Though there were no computer tracking models to consult, in the Keys the average landmass lay lower than the top of a small child''s head above sea level, and any fool--much less Ernest Hemingway--knew enough to get ready for trouble.

The papers reported the location of the storm at press time as just east of Long Island, in the Bahamas, some four hundred miles east of Key West. Hemingway finished his drink, put his paper down, and went into the house to dig out his storm charts, one of which detailed the dates and tracking of the forty hurricanes that had, since 1900, approached Florida during the month of September.

Given the reported rate of speed for the current storm (the quaint practice of naming hurricanes was not adopted by the U.S. Weather Bureau until 1953), Hemingway calculated--without the aid of television newsmen or late-breaking advisories--that he had until noon on Labor Day Monday before the worst might hit.

Hemingway''s first concern was his beloved boat, Pilar, a forty-foot powered fishing yacht he''d had built to order in a New York shipyard hardly a year before. His game-fishing forays about the northern Caribbean with Pauline and fellow writer John Dos Passos and Key West barkeep "Sloppy Joe" Russell and famed bullfighter Sidney Franklin and so many others were already the stuff of local legend, and Hemingway was prone to discuss the boat with others in a way that sometimes made casual acquaintances think he was referring to a lover.

As anyone who has tried to secure a boat in the face of an advancing hurricane can attest, however, the process is a tedious and frustrating one, complicated by a steady escalation of panic among other owners, many of whom may not have visited their craft in months. And Hemingway, despite his notoriety, found himself no exception. In a piece he wrote for The Masses, a left-leaning publication of the day, he shares a vivid picture of what he was up against.

Sunday you spend making the boat as safe as you can. When they refuse to haul her out on the ways because there are too many boats ahead, you buy $52 of new heavy hawser and shift her to what seems the safest part of the submarine base and tie her up there.

With the boat attended to as best he could, Hemingway spent the rest of Sunday evening and the following morning feverishly moving lawn furniture, carrying in plants, and shooing the ever-present hoard of cats inside his house, then nailing makeshift wooden shutters over all the windows. By five in the afternoon the storm had not materialized, but the double red and black flags that signified an impending hurricane were snapping over the Key West harbor in a heavy northeast wind. The barometer was falling precipitously, and the streets all over the town resounded with the crack of hammers driving nails into shutters, which nervous owners only hoped would hold.

With nothing more to do at home, Hemingway left Pauline and returned to the navy yard where he''d tied up Pilar:

You go down to the boat and wrap the lines with canvas where they will chafe when the surge starts, and believe that she has a good chance to ride it out . . . provided no other boat smashes into you and sinks you. There is a booze boat seized by the Coast Guard tied next to you and you notice her stern lines are only tied to ringbolts in the stern, and you start bellyaching about that. . . .

Hemingway was enough of a sailor to know that lines attached to a few bolts drilled into the deck of a poorly maintained boat could never withstand the pressure exerted by the winds of a hurricane, but his complaints had little effect on an already overburdened staff. The harbormaster simply shrugged and told him he had permission to sink the rumrunner if she broke free and threatened to ram Pilar.

Just how Hemingway was supposed to manage such a feat in the midst of a hurricane was not made clear, but there was nothing else to be done at the basin. He gave one last baleful glance at the precariously tied-off rumrunner, then made his way back to the house on Whitehead Street, left with the very worst thing to do as a hurricane approaches: wait.

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4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

V Murphy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Captivating page-turner , rich in history, and non-fiction which reads like a novel
Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2018
After attending University of Miami in the 70''s , I lived part time in Florida for most of the intervening years until I retired full-time in the Sunshine State in 2010. It''s a state which I love for many reasons (besides the obvious - the weather), but didn''t know... See more
After attending University of Miami in the 70''s , I lived part time in Florida for most of the intervening years until I retired full-time in the Sunshine State in 2010.
It''s a state which I love for many reasons (besides the obvious - the weather), but didn''t know much about . I''d seen Flagler''s name (as well as his assistant , Mr. Krome''s ) on many streets , buildings and monuments , but had no idea what a visionary industrialist he was, nor how he came about his fortune.
This book tells a much needed story of some of the history of Florida for the millions and millions of refugees moving here from the frigid, high-tax, over-regulated northeastern states. It is beautifully written , reads like a novel, but it is well researched and relates a captivating story.
It''s also a lesson in the awesome power of hurricanes for the neophyte who thinks he or she is going to "ride one out".
As an aside, it is a gentle reminder that horrific climatological events have occurred long before the term "man-made climate change" had even been dreamt up
23 people found this helpful
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Frank DonnellyTop Contributor: Poetry Books
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Really Good Book About This Part of Florida''s History
Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2019
"The Last Train to Paradise" is a really good history book about Henry Flagler, who played a huge role in the development of modern day Florida. The book combines a very good biography of Mister Flagler and his building of a railroad, primarily down the east coast of... See more
"The Last Train to Paradise" is a really good history book about Henry Flagler, who played a huge role in the development of modern day Florida. The book combines a very good biography of Mister Flagler and his building of a railroad, primarily down the east coast of Florida, and then through the Florida Keys. The book goes on to document the hurricane of 1935, that destroyed the Florida Keys part of that railroad. I was really glad that I was able to read this book and felt it was very well done. As an amateur historian, I feel I know a fair amount of Florida''s history, but I learned a good deal and really enjoyed this product.

As a resident of Pennsylvania, I now travel to Florida for a brief visit, once a year in the winter. Mister Flagler is an obviously notable personage in Florida to this day. I always wanted to read his biography and of course, of his activities in Florida. This book proved completely satisfactory in both regards.

As is common for me, I purchased the Kindle and accompanying audiobook, and read and listened simultaneously. The audiobook is faithful to the Kindle and is about as good as it can be under the circumstances. However, in that this is non fiction, the Kindle has photographs, and a bibliography that can not be reproduced on the audiobook. I enjoyed both, but if I was only to purchase one or the other, I would have chosen the Kindle.
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LindaL
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Henry Flagler and his oversea rail
Reviewed in the United States on November 21, 2020
Last Train to Paradise is the story of Henry Flagler, an American industrialist best known as a Founder of Standard Oil. He also played a part in popularizing Florida as a tourist attraction since he played a pivotal role in extending railroad lines to Florida cities. By... See more
Last Train to Paradise is the story of Henry Flagler, an American industrialist best known as a Founder of Standard Oil. He also played a part in popularizing Florida as a tourist attraction since he played a pivotal role in extending railroad lines to Florida cities. By building luxury hotels in Jacksonville, Palm Beach, and Miami, he made vacationing in Florida attractive to his wealthy contemporaries such as Rockefeller. Although Standiford discusses Flagler’s wives and children, the main story is about his drive to build a Florida railroad. At first, the rail connected Jacksonville to northern stations and eventually Palm Beach and Miami. But his vision was to connect the railroad lines “over sea” so that the Florida Keys would be accessible by rail. He accomplished his goal by partnering with engineers and bridge builders, who shared his enthusiasm for risk-taking and accomplishment.

The press called the Key West project “Flagler’s Folly.” Standiford includes many gruesome descriptions of the working conditions and the lives lost during the bridge’s building to and through the keys. The labor pool for the actual work included unemployed northerners and people from the islands. Many workers were unaccustomed to the humidity, heat, storms, and insects common in Florida. The workcamps that he set up for his workers were less than adequate, and Flagler dealt with workers who wanted to escape rather than work for low wages and risk getting sick and dying. Flagler contended with unfair labor practice claims, including a governmental investigation for slave-labor. Clearly, his hiring practices would not pass muster today. Flagler would have been unable to forge ahead with his plan under the EPA and the later twentieth century with the dredging of lands and redesigning nature’s paths to accommodate bridges and roadbeds. In 1912, the overseas railroad to Key West was finished after about seven years of labor, including at least three hurricanes. Much of the railway was damaged or demolished in the hurricane of 1935. Parts of the old path can be viewed from today’s modern roadway leading through the keys.
The value of Flagler’s dreams and accomplishments is for the reader to decide.
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FairGrace
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This book is an interesting, vivid and unforgettable key to understanding modern Florida.
Reviewed in the United States on September 14, 2020
In 1905, at the age of 73, Henry Flagler deployed his enormous Standard Oil wealth into a billion dollar capital project that would extend the FEC Railway through the Florida swamps and the open water of the Gulf of Mexico to connect Miami to Key West. Completed by 1912,... See more
In 1905, at the age of 73, Henry Flagler deployed his enormous Standard Oil wealth into a billion dollar capital project that would extend the FEC Railway through the Florida swamps and the open water of the Gulf of Mexico to connect Miami to Key West. Completed by 1912, the massive rail line ultimately failed 23 years later as a result of a flawed business plan and a relentless sequence of hurricanes.
The concept, the project and its ultimate failure tell the story of the formation of modern Florida, how rail connecting St. Augustine with Miami initiated an enduring resort industry, and how business and government integrated on multiple levels to reach a common objective.
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Jeffro
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Compelling Read for Florida History Buffs
Reviewed in the United States on April 16, 2019
Although I''ve lived in Florida many years and visited most of the historical sites associated with Flagler that are discussed in the book, the book gave me a trove of information that I haven''t known and put it cohesively all together. I especially liked the way the... See more
Although I''ve lived in Florida many years and visited most of the historical sites associated with Flagler that are discussed in the book, the book gave me a trove of information that I haven''t known and put it cohesively all together. I especially liked the way the narrative flowed: from starting of with a discussion of the 1935 Labor Day hurricane through the eyes of those who were there, then going back in time to revealing Flagler''s beginnings—through his rise in Standard Oil and his projects in Florida which ultimately culminated in the Key West Extension of the FEC—and from the discussion of the planning and building of the extension back to the hurricane that destroyed it, and the aftermath which led to it becoming the Overseas Highway.

It''s worth noting that this book was published in 2001, so there are only comparisons of the 1935 storm to other big storms prior to this date (notably Hurricane Andrew). We all know that there have been more devastating storms to hit the US since that date. I wonder if the author has ever had to urge to return to this book and update the comparisons to any of theses more recent storms.
2 people found this helpful
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Pete from across the RiverTop Contributor: Country Music
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An incredible story!
Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2021
Henry Flagler was a very rich man due to his partnership with John D. Rockefeller and the creation of Standard Oil at the turn of the 18-19th century. He could have had a pleasant retirement, but he''d become interested in Florida ... and decided to build a railroad down the... See more
Henry Flagler was a very rich man due to his partnership with John D. Rockefeller and the creation of Standard Oil at the turn of the 18-19th century. He could have had a pleasant retirement, but he''d become interested in Florida ... and decided to build a railroad down the east coast into undeveloped and largely unoccupied lands. He established multiple "destination" resorts (someplace to draw passengers) and then talk of a canal between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean made it seem that a installing the railroad all the way to Key West (Florida''s largest city at the time) would make sense (by establishing a deep water port there). This is an incredibly audacious plan ... and multiple hurricanes during the construction proved that is was a massive challenge. This book does a great job describing the challenges, successes, and disasters of such a major project. An amazing story!
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fascinating story
Reviewed in the United States on May 29, 2015
Fascinating, historic retelling of Henry Flagler''s work building the "overseas railroad" from Miami to Key West, and of the devastating hurricane that wiped it out. It''s even more exciting if the reader has been on the modern roads and bridges leading through the... See more
Fascinating, historic retelling of Henry Flagler''s work building the "overseas railroad" from Miami to Key West, and of the devastating hurricane that wiped it out. It''s even more exciting if the reader has been on the modern roads and bridges leading through the Keys and has seen the amazing remnants of the railroad alongside the highway. The story is almost unbelievable, in that Flagler built this wonder of the world without gasoline or oil, but used steam power and awkward heavy equipment. He and his men overcame numerous obstacles such as swamps, swiftly moving tidal currents, yellow-fever, storms, engineering challenges, and more. Of course, today, this would be an environmentally impossible task. But in Flagler''s day, it was considered a "miracle", or a folly, depending upon whom one asked. It is an easy and fast read, well written, even for a non-engineering type like me.
14 people found this helpful
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Ivan G. Corbin
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Interesting and Engaging Read
Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2020
I enjoyed this well-researched and well written history of the Overseas Railroad. I read this right after the novel "The Last Train to Key West" based on the same railroad and the hurricane that destroyed it. I particularly enjoyed the book because I lived in Key West for... See more
I enjoyed this well-researched and well written history of the Overseas Railroad. I read this right after the novel "The Last Train to Key West" based on the same railroad and the hurricane that destroyed it. I particularly enjoyed the book because I lived in Key West for seven years and knew people that were there in 1912 to welcome Henry Flagler and his trains to town. Some of these same people were called upon to help with finding and recovering the victims of the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane. The book is not long and is a very easy read.
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Top reviews from other countries

DAVID BRYSON
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
NATURE, HEARTLESS WITLESS NATURE
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 30, 2018
The story of the railway across the Florida Keys all the way to Key West is nothing short of astounding. It needs a narrator and chronicler of a high order, and it has found one here in Les Standiford. He begins, as he has to, by introducing Henry Morrison Flagler, best...See more
The story of the railway across the Florida Keys all the way to Key West is nothing short of astounding. It needs a narrator and chronicler of a high order, and it has found one here in Les Standiford. He begins, as he has to, by introducing Henry Morrison Flagler, best known (if known at all) as the equal partner of John D Rockefeller in founding Standard Oil. Flagler''s interest turned to the nascent state of Florida, and he can properly be described as the founder of that as well, with its cities (including Miami), its luxury hotels and resorts, and, relevant to our story here, the Florida East Coast Railway. Flagler''s dreams now focused on the new international port he wanted to establish in Key West, and he sank his vast fortune into it, a fortune that could of course have been vaster if he had stuck with Standard Oil, but he seems hardly to have cared about that. Most of the narrative is concerned with the construction of the line, and Standiford gives a full and proper account of the monstrous civil engineering challenges that confronted Flagler''s project management, causing the untimely death of the project manager, Joseph C Meredith, himself from his undisclosed diabetes. Many of the lower-graded workers predictably lost their lives too, but Flagler liked to think of himself as a considerate employer, and maybe by some standards of the time he was something approximating to that. The book''s title reflects the luxury passenger transportation and accommodation that made the railway line famous at first. In particular there had been a bit of a hiatus in the hurricane visitations that had plagued the work during its construction phase. It never made much, probably any, money, because as Standiford says railroad fortunes are not made from passenger traffic but from freight. He also draws a pointed parallel with the hopes for booming trade with Cuba and points south which also later seduced hopeful entrepreneurs after the fall of the Soviet Union: simply, these would-be trading partners did not have much to offer nor much money to buy what America was offering. Meantime Flagler was totally determined to see his project completed before he died, as befell him in 1913, the funeral not being attended by Rockefeller nor, apparently, by any else from Standard Oil. The dream lived on, impecunious but spectacular, and mother nature dreamed on too until Labor Day 1935. Standiford''s gift for description is superb, and in particular he does not cheapen any of it by exaggeration or looking for effect. This gift of course encompasses a talent for natural description. That''s his depiction of the ''paradise'' side of nature. He is equal to a very different kind of natural description and epic narrative when nature shows another side. The tale of that horrific event in 1935 is told with precision, and perhaps it is what the book has all been about. The hurricane was apparently the worst that has struck the USA to this day, lacking only a personal name of the kind we use nowadays. The author does not flinch from the human stories, but another author who witnessed the disaster from Key West was Hemingway, who enquired pointedly who had put the unemployed ex-servicemen into flimsy accommodation to give the impression of caring for them; and who created the confusion that delayed the rescue train. Comparisons have often been made with Greek tragedies. These are a rather loose fit, but one that doesn''t really seem apposite is the quotation from Shelley''s Ozymandias. In fact considerable relics of Flagler''s project still survive and can be viewed from the highway that nowadays follows Flagler''s route. The thing was shown to have been feasible, and Flagler, unlike Ozymandias, has a share of monuments.
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DOPPLEGANGER
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The late redemption of a Robber Baron
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2008
Henry Flagler acquired his unseemly wealth by highly debatable means during his partnership with John D Rockefeller at Standard Oil. He wholly'' or at least partially redeemed his reputation in the eyes of subsequent generations by devoting his energies and lots of his...See more
Henry Flagler acquired his unseemly wealth by highly debatable means during his partnership with John D Rockefeller at Standard Oil. He wholly'' or at least partially redeemed his reputation in the eyes of subsequent generations by devoting his energies and lots of his wealth in creating a railroad the length of Florida, continuing all the way across the Oceanic Keys to Key West. It was a brave dream that in order to realise before he died, involved overcoming massive constructional difficulties never before encountered and the ever present threat of the annual hurricane season. The lasting testament to Henry Flagler was not the Florida East Coast Railway but the unlocking of the economic, farming, industrial, tourist and residential potential of the area, that the railroad brought about. Les Standiford''s story of the determination of this old man to make his dream a reality, is recounted in an informative and highly engaging manner and will interest way beyond the railway fraternity.
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heyjude
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
fantastic biography
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 20, 2014
This is a really interesting book about the development of Florida, basically, and one man''s obsession with putting rail links into impossible places. The amazing story of Flagler - a VERY rich man, as rich as Venderbilt but unheard of by most people. Highly recommended.
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trevor adams
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 30, 2015
Excellant could not put the book down
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Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A great engineering story.
Reviewed in Canada on March 9, 2016
This is the incredible story of how an American millionaire associate of Rockefeller and Standard Oil (or was he a billionaire?), having been recommended to take the Florida airs for his health, became determined to build a railway to Key West along the Florida Keys. There...See more
This is the incredible story of how an American millionaire associate of Rockefeller and Standard Oil (or was he a billionaire?), having been recommended to take the Florida airs for his health, became determined to build a railway to Key West along the Florida Keys. There were failures due to hurricanes and questionable engineering, but it was finally completed. Later much of became the roadbed for the highway to Key West. Some good pictures which one can supplement on Google Earth if one wishes. An incredible engineering story of what one can do with energy and persistence.
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2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale

2021 popular Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of online sale the Railroad that outlet online sale Crossed an Ocean online sale