Wednesday, May 05, 2010

On My Nightstand: Appetite For America

Anyone who's ever traveled through the Southwest or visited the Grand Canyon has seen, heard, or experienced an exposure to Fred Harvey. Appetite For America by Stephen Fried is the tale of the man Fred Harvey and the company that went on to bear his name. It's the story of the rise of the hospitality industry, the rise and fall of railroading, and how the company came to epitomize travel and food service, creating the gold standard by which other companies were judged.

Harvey created a family business that not only survived his death, but thrived under the more than capable leadership of his son Ford, and the rest of his family, who carried on the family traditions for excellence in food service and hospitality.

It isn't much of an exaggeration to point out that Fred Harvey helped civilize the West and opened up the West to travelers by making destinations of places like the Grand Canyon and the stops all along the Sante Fe railroad.

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