Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West

Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West - Stephen Fried Englishman Fred Harvey can be thanked any time someone visits a Howard Johnson, Denny's or any other chain restaurant or hotel. Harvey's hotels and eateries, which sprung up in conjunction with the railroads from the Midwest to the Southwest, are the template on which all modern chains are run -- because his was the first."Appetite for America" is a fascinating look at Fred Harvey -- the man and the establishments. Using a variety of sources, including business archives, interviews with family members and Harvey Girls (the Harvey organization was one of the first major employers of women) and newspaper accounts, author Stephen Fried presents a lively tale of entrepreneurship, high society and even "how the West was won." Covering more than 100 years of the highly regarded company makes for a weighty book, but it constantly holds the reader's attention.There are still two Harvey hotels in existence (at one point there were more than 100), both of them at the Grand Canyon. Most of the hotels were closed during the Great Depression, so that the Harvey family could afford to spend funds on providing free meals to those in need.American history buffs, and those interested in the Southwest (New Mexico and Arizona in particular) are sure to be fascinated by the Fred Harvey story.(Review based on unedited advance proof.)