Abby's Reviews > Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean

Last Train to Paradise by Les Standiford
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Jun 30, 2011

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Read in June, 2011

If you want to learn the history of Florida and, particularly, the monumental feat of building a railroad across the sea from Miami to Key West, this is your book. Standiford does well telling this story and bringing Henry Flagler, the man who turned Florida into a tourist mecca, to life. The book is also about a great hurricane that hit the Keys in the 1930s, but it's almost an afterthought. The real story here is about Flagler and the trials of building a railroad that no one thought possible.
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message 1: by Richard (new)

Richard Gay I haven't read this yet. I'm a Florida native and was a resident for a long time, and I have to say that tourism is not a good way to build an economy, even if it's the end point. Florida suffers from being developed by greedy people, rather than being carefully planned for a growing population and a certain set of natural resources to sustainably exploit. But of course, who got that? Nobody.

message 2: by Kate (last edited Jul 02, 2011 08:51AM) (new)

Kate Thank you for the review. Another good read on the history of Florida is The Orchid Thief. It was wildly adapted into a movie Adaptation, which is really nothing like the book. The book talks about the history of the everglades, settlement, and orchids.

message 3: by Richard (last edited Aug 07, 2011 12:17PM) (new)

Richard Gay For Florida-based fiction, I recommend Carl Hiassen and Randy Wayne White.

Abby Have not started it yet, but I plan to explore some Florida resort politics in "The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise" by Michael Grunwald. Seems to be reviewed well here in Goodreads and at Amazon. Abby

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