West like lightning: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express

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2019 Spur Awards Finalist, Best Western Historical Nonfiction

THE NEW DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF THE PONY EXPRESS

"A groundbreaking work. ... The first comprehensive history of the legendary transcontinental experiment in mail delivery in sixty years." —True West

"This rollicking account of the daring enterprise known as the Pony Express brings its era and its legendary characters to life." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Sure to stand amongst the great popular histories of the West." —Tombstone Epitaph

Illustrated with 50 photographs and images. Includes a map of the Pony Express route.

On the eve of the Civil War, three American businessmen launched an audacious plan to create a financial empire by transforming communications across the hostile territory between the nation's two coasts. In the process, they created one of the most enduring icons of the American West: the Pony Express. Daring young men with colorful names like "Bronco Charlie" and "Sawed-Off Jim" galloped at speed over a vast and unforgiving landscape, etching an irresistible tale that passed into myth almost instantly. Equally an improbable success and a business disaster, the Pony Express came and went in just eighteen months, but not before uniting and captivating a nation on the brink of being torn apart. Jim DeFelice's brilliantly entertaining West Like Lightning is the first major history of the Pony Express to put its birth, life, and legacy into the full context of the American story.

The Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company—or "Pony Express," as it came to be known—was part of a plan by William Russell, Alexander Majors, and William Waddell to create the next American Express, a transportation and financial juggernaut that already dominated commerce back east. All that stood in their way were almost two thousand miles of uninhabited desert, ice-capped mountains, oceanic plains roamed by Indian tribes, whitewater-choked rivers, and harsh, unsettled wilderness.

The Pony used a relay system of courageous horseback riders to ferry mail halfway across a continent in just ten days. The challenges the riders faced were enormous, yet the Pony Express succeeded, delivering thousands of letters at record speed. The service instantly became the most direct means of communication between the eastern United States and its far western territories, helping to firmly connect them to the Union.

Populated with cast of characters including Abraham Lincoln (news of whose electoral victory the Express delivered to California), Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill Cody (who fed the legend of the Express in his Wild West Show), and Mark Twain (who celebrated the riders in Roughing It), West Like Lightning masterfully traces the development of the Pony Express and follows it from its start in St. Joseph, Missouri—the edge of the civilized world—west to Sacramento, the capital of California, then booming from the gold rush. Jim DeFelice, who traveled the Pony's route in his research, plumbs the legends, myths, and surprising truth of the service, exploring its lasting relevance today as a symbol of American enterprise, audacity, and daring.

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9780062496768
006249676
9780062681454
9780062496799
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Grouped Work ID 460c6e18-6509-8696-767d-b67d6a8de934
Grouping Title west like lightning the brief legendary ride of the pony express
Grouping Author defelice jim
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-05-24 02:33:39AM
Last Indexed 2019-05-24 03:55:48AM

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author DeFelice, Jim, 1956-
author_display Jim DeFelice
available_at_catalog Arcade, Arden-Dimick, Carmichael, Central, Elk Grove, North Highlands-Antelope, North Sacramento-Hagginwood, Sacramento Room, Valley Hi-North Laguna
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display_description

2019 Spur Awards Finalist, Best Western Historical Nonfiction

THE NEW DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF THE PONY EXPRESS

"A groundbreaking work. ... The first comprehensive history of the legendary transcontinental experiment in mail delivery in sixty years." —True West

"This rollicking account of the daring enterprise known as the Pony Express brings its era and its legendary characters to life." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Sure to stand amongst the great popular histories of the West." —Tombstone Epitaph

Illustrated with 50 photographs and images. Includes a map of the Pony Express route.

On the eve of the Civil War, three American businessmen launched an audacious plan to create a financial empire by transforming communications across the hostile territory between the nation's two coasts. In the process, they created one of the most enduring icons of the American West: the Pony Express. Daring young men with colorful names like "Bronco Charlie" and "Sawed-Off Jim" galloped at speed over a vast and unforgiving landscape, etching an irresistible tale that passed into myth almost instantly. Equally an improbable success and a business disaster, the Pony Express came and went in just eighteen months, but not before uniting and captivating a nation on the brink of being torn apart. Jim DeFelice's brilliantly entertaining West Like Lightning is the first major history of the Pony Express to put its birth, life, and legacy into the full context of the American story.

The Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company—or "Pony Express," as it came to be known—was part of a plan by William Russell, Alexander Majors, and William Waddell to create the next American Express, a transportation and financial juggernaut that already dominated commerce back east. All that stood in their way were almost two thousand miles of uninhabited desert, ice-capped mountains, oceanic plains roamed by Indian tribes, whitewater-choked rivers, and harsh, unsettled wilderness.

The Pony used a relay system of courageous horseback riders to ferry mail halfway across a continent in just ten days. The challenges the riders faced were enormous, yet the Pony Express succeeded, delivering thousands of letters at record speed. The service instantly became the most direct means of communication between the eastern United States and its far western territories, helping to firmly connect them to the Union.

Populated with cast of characters including Abraham Lincoln (news of whose electoral victory the Express delivered to California), Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill Cody (who fed the legend of the Express in his Wild West Show), and Mark Twain (who celebrated the riders in Roughing It), West Like Lightning masterfully traces the development of the Pony Express and follows it from its start in St. Joseph, Missouri—the edge of the civilized world—west to Sacramento, the capital of California, then booming from the gold rush. Jim DeFelice, who traveled the Pony's route in his research, plumbs the legends, myths, and surprising truth of the service, exploring its lasting relevance today as a symbol of American enterprise, audacity, and daring.

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subject_facet Pony express -- History, Special collections -- Sacramento Public Library, West (U.S.) -- History
title_display West like lightning : the brief, legendary ride of the Pony Express
title_full West Like Lightning The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express, West like lightning : the brief, legendary ride of the Pony Express / Jim DeFelice
title_short West like lightning :
title_sub The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express
topic_facet History, Nonfiction, Pony express, Sacramento Public Library, Special collections