Chris's Reviews > Steel Drivin' Man: John Henry: the Untold Story of an American Legend

Steel Drivin' Man by Scott Reynolds Nelson
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's review
Oct 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: history-american, fairy-myth-legend-criticism, kindle, folklore-north-america, folklore-legends, literature-criticism-and-essays, poc-on-cover
Read from October 12 to 14, 2011

Nelson does a pretty good job of convincing the reader that he is gotten to the root of the John Henry question - who was he really.

This is a rather enjoyable and very quick read that examines not only what Nelson believes to be story behind the legend but also a study of how the story was used in America.

Nelson's writing is engaging, and he talks not only about John Henry but about American ballads and folklife. Admittly, Nelson seems to go into too much detail about trains, but it is John Henry we're talking about.

Though, Nelson, you could've mentioned he had a racehorse, a very famous one, named after him. John Henry, the horse, was great too.

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