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Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the…
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Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild… (original 2010; edição 2011)

por Stephen Fried (Autor)

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271973,091 (4.16)14
The legendary life and entrepreneurial vision of Fred Harvey helped shape American culture and history of three generations--from the 1880's all the way through World War II--and still influence our lives today. Stephen Fried re-creates the life of this unlikely American hero, the founding father of the nation's service industry, whose remarkable family business civilized the West and introduced America to Americans.… (mais)
Membro:gottschalkm
Título:Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West--One Meal at a Time
Autores:Stephen Fried (Autor)
Informação:Bantam (2011), 544 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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Etiquetas:Natalie Gray

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Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West--One Meal at a Time por Stephen Fried (2010)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 9 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
A nice read. Well written, well researched, and plenty of extra material in the form of appendices and notes. I knew very little about Fred Harvey, but after this book I feel that he and his offspring are my bosom buddies. ( )
  untraveller | Dec 20, 2015 |
Fred Harvey came to America, immigrating from London, in 1853 when he was seventeen. He quickly found work and began his journey towards owning a nationally known and influential business that as the subtitle for the book says was a "Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West". I really enjoyed this story about Harvey, his business, and all the railroad and western history that Fried gave the reader. Even the appendices were interesting, especially the one of recipes from the Fred Harvey Houses.
  hailelib | Nov 20, 2014 |
I am old enough to remember the last gasp of Fred Harvey's hospitality empire in Chicago. Whenever we would pick up relatives at either the Dearborn or Union station, we would always go to the big Fred Harvey restaurants there before we went home. Later as the Interstate highway system began to criss-cross the state, the company ran the restaurants that were located in the oases that crossed the tollways. And in the 1950's I rode the Santa Fe Super Chief with my grandparents out to Los Angeles and got to spend three days eating sumptuous Fred Harvey meals in the dining car. But I really knew very little of the company or of Fred Harvey himself.

An immigrant from England in the 1850's, he worked in both the food service industry and then for the railroads, and also was a freelance salesman on the side. In his early forties, he decided to reinvent himself and started a business feeding train passengers in the American West, which in those days was still very wild, and in doing so became the father of what we know today as the American service industry. "Fred Harvey" was the first widely known and trusted brand in the country. He ran all the hotels and restaurants along the country's largest railroad, the Santa Fe, from Chicago to Los Angeles and later went on to serve the cross-country driving public along the fabled Route 66. His grandson took an interest in the early days of flying and was an original partner in TWA along with Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford. He also provided countless women with employment opportunities as his famous Harvey Girls, championed the formation of the Grand Canyon National Park, and also created a national chain of newsstands and bookstores across the country.

He did all this while demanding the highest standards of service and quality of his product. At its peak Fred Harvey had sixty-five restaurants and lunch counters, a dozen large hotels (including El Tovar and Angel Brite on the South rim of the Grand Canyon and La Fonda in Santa Fe), all the restaurants and retail shops in the country's largest train stations, and controlled so many newsstands and bookstores that his orders affected the best seller lists.

Lastly, he played a huge role in developing the American tourism industry as we know it. He was largely responsible for creating the Grand Canyon as the country's premier National Park, and was a driving force in developing appreciation for Native American arts and culture. His embrace of Native American/Spanish American imagery in his hotels and restaurants in the American Southwest gave birth to what we know today as the "Santa Fe style."

But then what happened? As is often the case, the third generation of the family, raised in luxury, dropped the ball. Fred HArvey's grandson, Freddy, was more interested in flying than in attending to the day-to-day concerns of the business, and when he and his wife were killed in a tragic plane crash in the 1930's, the company was taken over by Fred Harvey;'s younger son Byron and his children., who decided to hitch their fortunes to the railroad instead of the driving or flying public, and we all know how that turned out. In 1966 what was left of the company went public and then was sold to a Hawaiian based conglomerate and that was that.

This is a fascinating story of an American entrepreneur who built a hospitality empire with the highest standards only for it to fall to pieces due to disruptive technologies in the twentieth century. ( )
1 vote etxgardener | Aug 28, 2014 |
As the book tells the story of the man, Fred Harvey, it also tells the story of the business that bore his name. It also chronicles a fascinating time in American history, as the expansion of the railroads led to new frontiers. As people moved west Fred Harvey did more that feed them--he also brought culture to the towns his eateries and hotels operated in as he imported fine dining, an expectation for manners and generosity, and females as the famous Harvey Girls took advantage of his offer for employment and a new start. It was quite interesting to read this detailed account of the the man and the company, which was eventually passed to his son but which did not manage to continue it's success after the railroads lost their status as the main mode of transportation. ( )
  debs4jc | May 2, 2014 |
Fantastic book detailing the Harvey House restaurants in the west...and a lot about trains too. ( )
  TheLoisLevel | Mar 21, 2012 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 9 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Before it was a brand, Fred Harvey was a man, and while Fried’s book includes his biography — the tale of a poor immigrant who became the founding father of the American hospitality industry — Harvey’s death, in 1901, comes before the story is halfway through. Fried follows Fred Harvey, the company, as it grew and thrived well into the mid-20th century. When the business passed from Fred Harvey to his son and then his grandson, the brand never changed. Long after his death, customers still felt “as if they were being taken care of by Fred Harvey himself.”
 
In "Appetite for America," Stephen Fried aims to give Fred Harvey his due, making an impressive case for this Horatio Alger tale written in mashed potatoes and gravy.
 
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Fred Harvey? Do you know the name? If not, then your education has been much neglected...

Fred Harvey set a standard of excellence!...He has been a civilizer and a benefactor. He has added to the physical, mental and spiritual welfare of millions. No sermon can equal a Fred Harvey example--no poet can better a Fred Harvey precept. Fred Harvey simply kept faith with the public. He gave pretty nearly a perfect service...

The kind of business a man builds up is a reflection of himself--spun out of his heart. Man, like Deity, creates in his own image. I take my hat off to Fred Harvey, who served...so faithfully and well, that dying, he yet lives, his name a symbol of all that is honest, excellent, hygienic, beautiful and useful.

--Elbert Hubbard, renowned American orator, philosopher, and author of the early twentieth century
Wild buffalo fed the early traveler in the West and for doing so they put his picture on a nickel.

Well, Fred Harvey took up where the buffalo left off.

For what he has done for the traveler, one of his waitress's pictures (with an arm load of delicious ham and eggs) should be placed on both sides of every dime. He has kept the West in food--and wives.

--Will Rogers
RADIO INTERVIEWER: "How do you feel today, Mr. President?"
HARRY TRUMAN: "Fine. I just had breakfast, and I aways feel fine after having a meal at Fred Harvey's. That's a 'plug' and I won't get paid for it, but I like the food anyway."
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To Mom and Nana, who taught me the comforts of food, home, and family; and to my traveling companion in life, Black Bart
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On that spring night in 1882, the drunken cowboys riding through northern New Mexico could have been forgiven for squinting in disbelief at the sight of the Montezuma Hotel.
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The legendary life and entrepreneurial vision of Fred Harvey helped shape American culture and history of three generations--from the 1880's all the way through World War II--and still influence our lives today. Stephen Fried re-creates the life of this unlikely American hero, the founding father of the nation's service industry, whose remarkable family business civilized the West and introduced America to Americans.

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