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Stagecoach: Wells Fargo and the American West (Images of America)by Philip L. Fradkin
Synopses & Reviews
The booms and the busts of gold and silver mining... the building of the transcontinental railroad...the creation of family farms in harsh, isolated areas...the adventures of legends like Wyatt Earp, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Black Bart. The dramatic events and larger-than-life figures that make the history of the American West so compelling come to life from a new perspective in this fascinating chronicle of Wells Fargo & Company.
A company that combined a pioneering spirit with financial savvy, Wells Fargo had tremendous influence on the social, cultural, and economic activities of the Old West. It provided banking services and fast, reliable deliveries of mail and essential products to hard-scrabble miners, settlers on the Plains, and the burgeoning populations on the Pacific Coast. An integral part of America's financial growth and technological progress, it was involved with the rise of capitalist entrepreneurs, the regulation and disbanding of monopolies, and the birth of modern banking.
Filled with colorful stories and little-known facts, Stagecoach is a highly original look at the rugged spirit and sound business practices that built the West.
Sweeping in scope, as revealing of an era as it is of a company, Stagecoach is the epic story of Wells Fargo and the American West.
The trail of Wells Fargo runs through nearly every imaginable landscape and icon of frontier folklore: the California Gold Rush, the Pony Express, the transcontinental railroad, the Civil War, and the Indian wars. From the Great Plains to the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean, the company's operations embraced almost all social, cultural, and economic activities west of the Mississippi.
As its reputation for speed and dependability grew after the Gold Rush, the sight of a red-and-yellow Wells Fargo stagecoach racing across the prairie came to symbolize faith in a nation's progress. For a time, Wells Fargo was the most powerful and widespread institution in the American West, even surpassing the presence of the federal government.
Stagecoach is a fascinating and rare combination of Western and business history. Along with its rich association with the frontier, readers will discover that swiftness, security, and connectivity have been constants in Wells Fargo's 150 years.
About the Author
Philip L. Fradkin is the author of nine critically acclaimed books about
the American West and Alaska. He shared a Pulitzer Prize for his work at the
Los Angeles Times, and he has taught writing courses at the University
of California at Berkeley and at Stanford University. He lives in San
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