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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
This riveting biography of Henry Flagler, the driven oilman who helped establish Florida as a vacation destination, reads like a Raise the Titanic for the railroad set. Flagler, who dreamed of building a railway that would connect Key West to the Florida mainland, was a determined entrepreneur whose dream would, ultimately, be obliterated by forces he never imagined.
Flagler made his fortune as co-founder of Standard Oil with John D. Rockefeller. When he retired, he dedicated himself to a dream: creating access to Florida's Gold Coast. He built a string of resorts, from Jacksonville to Key West. The centerpiece was the Florida East Coast Railway, running over open ocean for an incredible 156 miles from Miami to Key West. When it was completed and operational in 1913, Miami was an immediate benefactor and soon became both a destination and a point of departure for the Keys (and, further south, Havana). The Railway stood until 1935, when the worst hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland ripped many of the bridges from their anchors, destroying Flagler's quixotic dream.
Last Train to Paradise is a compelling mix of suspense, heroism, and determination, written by an author with a deft touch. Get on board! Elena Simon