By Stephen Fried
Featured within the PBS documentary The Harvey ladies: chance Bound
The mythical existence and entrepreneurial imaginative and prescient of Fred Harvey assisted in shaping American tradition and background for 3 generations—from the Eighteen Eighties all through global battle II—and nonetheless effect our lives at the present time in awesome and engaging methods. Now award-winning journalist Stephen Fried re-creates the lifetime of this not going American hero, the founder of the nation’s provider undefined, whose extraordinary relatives enterprise civilized the West and brought the US to Americans.
Appetite for America is the marvelous real-life tale of Fred Harvey—told intensive for the 1st time ever—as good because the tale of this country’s growth into the Wild West of Bat Masterson and Billy the child, of the nice days of the railroad, of a time whilst a deal might nonetheless be made with a handshake and the USA used to be nonetheless uniting. As a tender immigrant, Fred Harvey labored his manner up from dishwasher to loved ones identify: He used to be Ray Kroc prior to McDonald’s, J. Willard Marriott sooner than Marriott motels, Howard Schultz prior to Starbucks. His consuming homes and resorts alongside the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad (including ancient hotels nonetheless in use on the Grand Canyon) have been patronized through princes, presidents, and numerous usual tourists searching for the simplest cup of espresso within the kingdom. Harvey’s employees of conscientiously screened unmarried younger women—the celebrated Harvey Girls—were the country’s first lady team and have become actual Americana, even inspiring an MGM musical starring Judy Garland.
With the verve and fervour of Fred Harvey himself, Stephen Fried tells the tale of ways this visionary equipped his enterprise from a unmarried lunch counter right into a relatives empire whose advertising and ideas we nonetheless stumble upon in myriad methods. Inspiring, instructive, and highly enjoyable, Appetite for America is old biography that's as richly worthwhile as a slice of unpolluted apple pie—and each piece as satisfying.
*With photograph inserts that includes over seventy five pictures, and an appendix with over fifty Fred Harvey recipes, so much of them never-before-published.
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Extra resources for Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West
Fred Harvey was Ray Kroc before McDonald’s, J. W. Marriott before Marriott Hotels, Howard Johnson before Hojo’s, Joe Horn and Frank Hardart before Horn & Hardart’s, Howard Schultz before Starbucks. And from the moment in 1878 when he lured the top chef at Chicago’s vaunted Palmer House to run his first high-end restaurant and hotel—in a refurbished fleabag in Florence, Kansas, a town so small that the population often doubled when the Santa Fe train pulled into the station—Fred Harvey’s managers and chefs became some of the first hospitality heroes of America.
Fred set out to make an immediate impression in the business community, as the Leavenworth Conservative hailed his arrival: “The men of Leavenworth will be glad to hear of this most excellent appointment. Mr. H is a man of extensive railroad and steamboat experience … He is well and widely known as a thorough, competent and efficient business man, and a most agreeable gentleman. ” The Harveys arrived in town just as the Civil War appeared to be finally wearing down. The slaves had been freed, Lincoln had been reelected, tentative peace talks had begun.
There was a brief truce after the incident, but it fell apart just weeks later; Union leaders took control, and Governor Jackson fled, calling for fifty thousand men to defend the city against Lincoln’s troops. By then, Fred Harvey had come to see himself, first and foremost, as a businessman—politics, like religion, was important but too divisive, bad for business. ” But he could not remain neutral on the subject of slavery, which he felt was wrong. He got into a violent argument with his partner, who was a Confederate sympathizer, and, not long after, discovered that Doyle had run off to join the secessionist army.