James J. Hill: A Great Life in Brief, by Stewart Holbrook
James J. Hill (158 pages), the “Empire Builder,” (1838-1916) was a Canadian-American railroad executive with the Great Northern Railway, responsible for building railways across the northern US. Part visionary, part robber baron, part buccaneer, Stewart Holbrook brings his story to life, in brief, as well as the lives of the other movers and shakers in the railway scene of the times.
Stewart Holbrook was born in Vermont in 1893 and came to the Northwest in 1920. After working as a logger, he moved in 1923 to Portland and spent the rest of his life writing. He was a fast and productive writer, regularly turning out 3,000 to 5,000 words a day. He wrote for the Oregonian newspaper, as well as articles for magazines ranging from the New Yorker to Startling Detective. He also wrote, co-authored, and edited over three dozen books. His first book. Holy Old Mackinaw: A Natural History of the American Lumberjack, was published in 1938, and it made him a national figure.
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