An oversized, limited commemorative edition of acclaimed South Florida author Les Standiford’s gripping true account of the extraordinary construction and spectacular demise of the Key West extension of Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway, originally published in 2002 and now in its 20th printing. This edition, commemorating the completion of the Over-Sea Railroad, January 22, 1912, includes a linen cloth cover, special heavy stock, silver foil stamping, a double gatefold, a hand-tipped map, and 150 new and vintage photographs and illustrations. Curators and historians at the Library of Congress, the Monroe County Library in Key West, and at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach assisted Creative Director Petra Mason with image sourcing, as did staff at The Cooper-Hewitt Museum, New York. Many of the images in this edition have never been published before. A Books & Books Press production in association with Motherland Miami and The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, Florida. 328 pages10 ½ x 8 ½ 150 illustrations HC ISBN 978-0-9839378-0-7$60.00 (Author)
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In Last Train to Paradise novelist Les Standiford has written a lively, felicitous account of the building of the Florida East Coast Railway, which, for a little over two decades, connected mainland Florida with Key West. Henry Morrison Flagler, John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil partner and, in many eyes, the true genius behind that company, embarked on the project in 1905 when he was 74 years old. The railroad, which crossed more than 150 miles of open sea, was an engineering feat nearly equal in scale and difficulty to the digging of the Panama Canal. Standiford's narrative skillfully blends tales of construction perils (not the least of which were escadrilles of mosquitoes) with brief, illuminating travelogues and natural histories, pocket descriptions of life in early 20th-century Florida, and a truly gripping description of an epic standoff between Mother Nature, in the form of a monstrous hurricane, and a stalled, 160-ton steam locomotive. With nary a single missed note, this fascinating tale is popular history at its best. --H. O'BillovichFrom the Back Cover:
“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 Hardcover edition.
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Book Description Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11098393780X
Book Description Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M098393780X
Book Description Flagler Museum, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. No Jacket. This is a brand new *SIGNED* copy of the gorgeous Centennial Edition (2012) of this Florida classic about 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." (Publisher's blurb) Written and signed without inscription on the title page by prolific novelist Les Standiford, this edition features dark green cloth embossed in silver, and includes numerous illustrations and photographs, some in vintage black and white, others in color. A great story and perfect gift for anyone interested in Florida's history, railroading, or the collecting of beautiful books. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # ABH199