Logan: Utah State University Press, 2008. First Edition. 316pp. Octavo [23.5 cm] Black cloth with silver stamped titles on the backstrip. Fine/Fine. Signed by the author on the half-title. Item #4722
In the depths of the Great Depression, McCarthy brought the Denver & Rio Grande Western - 'The Scenic Line of the World' - back from the brink. Founded by visionary General William Palmer in 1870 as the nation's first narrow-gauge railroad, Colorado's 'Baby Road' became a vital link in the national transportation system. The D&RGW went through the Rockies - not around them - developing resources, fighting corporate wars, and helping build communities. After corruption and incompetence brought it to its knees, McCarthy turned it into a paragon of mid-century railroading, represented by the streamlined, Vista-Domed California Zephyr. The halcyon days of railroads have passed, but the legend of the Denver & Rio Grande Lives on. Crossing the Continental Divide, the storied line hauled away vast mineral wealth but had to survive various corporate incarnations, business and political machinations, and a record that for a time earned it the nickname 'Dangerous and Rapidly Growing Worse.' McCarthy gave the road's employees a stake in the company's success and made it into a "western railroad operated by western men." Will Bagley's biography of Judge McCarthy is a sweeping life-and-times narrative that situates a personal and family saga in a rich historical panorama.