Sometimes history is best glimpsed in a passing moment. “West like Lightning” by Jim DeFelice details the ‘the brief, legendary ride of the Pony Express’ the mail service the united the east and west coasts before telegraph and rails. Concocted by a trio of NY businessmen, the service charged $5 to deliver a message or letter cross country by horseback. Defelice details both the how-to’s of the service (recruitment of riders, stations for changing horses) and the riders harrowing encounters with hostile natives, wild animals and feuding settlers. It’s a delightfully wild ride through history. People wanting to go on the the next chapter might try Railroaded, the story of the first transcontinental rail lines.
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