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At 12:30 P.M. Thursday April 21 Lee wired General Edgar Jadwin, head of the Corps of Engineers, "Levee broke at ferry landing Mounds Mississippi eight A.M. Crevasse will overflow entire Mississippi Delta." - J.M. Barry, The Great Mississippi Flood begins

Author Topic: The original steel-drivin' man  (Read 2357 times)

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Offline outfidel

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The original steel-drivin' man
« on: November 11, 2006, 01:52:42 PM »
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Offline Rivers

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Re: The original steel-drivin' man
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2006, 03:44:29 PM »
Looks like a real good read that one.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: The original steel-drivin' man
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 11:21:07 AM »
http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Drivin-Man-Untold-American/dp/0195300106

I'm reading this now and finding it quite absorbing. GOD! What a total anarchistic MESS reconstruction was! Thats a big part of the stage set for this story about one John Henry a 5'1" 19 year old native of Elizabeth New Jersey who fell afoul of some pretty baroque and shady legal applications in Richmond Virginia and ended up as forced prisoner labor for the C & O railroad. I've yet to come to the part where the author, and a damned good writer he is too, proves conclusively that the diminutive John Henry so far depicted is the famous "Steel Drivin' Man" of legend and song, but It seems to be going that way with an inevitability that is pretty convincing. Highly recommended half way in.
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Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: The original steel-drivin' man
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2012, 11:55:16 AM »
I was given it as a Xmas gift in 2006 and you won't be disappointed by the time you reach the end.

There's a guy by the name of John Garst, an Emeritus chemist at the University of Georgia, who has spent decades researching John Henry. Google his name with John Henry and it should reveal some of his "papers" on the subject.

Offline Stuart

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Re: The original steel-drivin' man
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2012, 11:59:07 AM »
It's a good read, Phil--Thanks for your post. It's due for a re-read on my part, given that my mind is like a steel...sieve. You might check out John Garst's work and writings on the subject. Over the years he has shared them via the Pre-War Blues Group. A couple of his articles are mentioned on the Amazon review pages:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R31LPNE7W3C2QY/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0195300106&nodeID=&tag=&linkCode=#wasThisHelpful

Edited to add: Alan's post appeared while I was typing mine up, but in the interest of redundancy, I'm posting it anyway.  :P

Offline oddenda

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Re: The original steel-drivin' man
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2012, 07:49:35 PM »
The book was an interesting read and well written. I think that the author has let his imagination go a bit and wants that to be THE John Henry. Like I say, good read, but probably NOT the Gospel on the subject. It's available from Amazon DIRT CHEAP from the used/cut-out places... less than a buck!

pbl

Offline Gumbo

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Re: The original steel-drivin' man
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2012, 04:21:45 AM »
Yes. I just got a copy for ?2 (+?2 postage). I read John Garst's work a couple of years ago so it'll be interesting to get another angle.

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