Seventeen-year-old Henry Horstman was one of 1.4 million Germans who braved the Atlantic Ocean to immigrate into the United States during the 1880s with the hope of achieving a better life. Twentieth Century Limited details the compelling life story of Horstman, who pursued his boyhood dream in one of the most dangerous industries in America-only to lose it in the prime of his life.
Douglass Horstman, the grandson of Henry Horstman, draws on memories and historical accounts as he chronicles his grandfather's fascinating lebengeschichte (life story) while also highlighting the carnage on the rails that devastated the lives of thousands of railroad workers and their families during a time when railroad corruption was rampant. As a youth in Germany, Henry was faced with the possibility of conscription into the Prussian Army but chose instead to follow the example of his uncle, a lokomotivfuhrer (engineer) in America. The author pieces together a captivating story that follows Henry from his Prussian youth to his first steps onto American soil and his fateful job on a railroad in upstate New York.
At a time when thousands of trainmen were being killed or injured, Henry Horstman displayed insurmountable determination and courage, turning his journey through life and on the rails into an inspiring biography.
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About the Author
A former government affairs executive in Washington, D.C., Douglass C. Horstman understands the inner workings of government and politics. His avid interest in United States history led him to write about his immigrant grandfather and the perilous working conditions on the nation's corruption-ridden railroads. Now retired, the author lives in Spotsylvania, Virginia with his wife Sondra.