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The Harvey Girls: Women Who Opened the West Paperback – July 4, 1994
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Jonathon Yardley --Washington Post Book World
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A big thank you to all of the readers and reviewers who support my work and recommend my books to friends and colleagues.
Top Customer Reviews
At a time when there were "no ladies west of Dodge City and no women west of Albuquerque", they came as waitresses, but many stayed and settled, founding the struggling cattle and mining towns that dotted the region.
Poling-Kempes has created the gold standard for writing and reporting on women in the west. Aside from 10 years research, archival studies, photo retrieval, the author contacted in person and by telephone and correspondence some eighty former employees that once totaled 100,00.
This unique, unduplicated history is alive with color and original narrative. Major reviews by the NY Times, American Heritage, Parade. Writing in the Washington Post Book World Jonathon Yardley sums it up
"A story that seems to have completely vanished from the national memory; for giving it new life, Poling-Kempes deserves gratitude and praise."
Poling-Kempes has other titles on this theme:Far From Home--West By Rail With The Harvey Girls and The Golden Era--West by Rail With the Harvey Girls. Illustrations for this paper doll history are by famous fashion illustrator Lynette C. Ross. Books available from Texas Tech University Press 1-800-832-4042.
Her novel, Canyon Of Remembering and Valley of Shining of Stone-The Story of Abiquiu explore the rich and at times, mysterious, life of the Southwest.
Ms. Poling-Kempes did a nice job of researching the life and times of the Harvey houses and the Harvey Girls who worked in them. A number of factors resulted in the gradual demise of the Harvey houses, and most of them have been destroyed, but "The Harvey Girls" very effectively recreates the era, and the numerous old photos in the book contribute greatly to imagining how it was in those days.
Fred Harvey and the Harvey Girls may not have singlehandedly tamed the West, but they certainly made a significant contribution, and Ms. Poling-Kempes deserves an "A" for documenting this fascinating footnote on the history of the American West.
Highly recommended reading for history buffs!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found the book interesting to a point. I did not know anything about the Harvey Girls and from an historical perspective the book was enlightening. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Linda
Wonderful history of a little-known era in our history. I have visited a former Harvey House nearby that is unfortunately closed, & plan to visit another one that is open as a... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jay Mandraccia
Went on vacation to Grand Canyon , had no idea about Harvey house and the thousands of women that worked for Fred Harvey. Part of history lost because , they were just waitresses.Published 5 months ago by Cath3renee
It's a bit "sentimental," which I try to stay away from in history books. I think the author found their voice mid-way through writing so it isn't consistent at times.Published 5 months ago by R. M. Quirk
We discovered the Harvey Girls last year in Belen, New Mexico. Belen Harvey House Museum, opened the door to a part of history that caught my attention, excited a new interest and... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Diane Johnson
This book came as promised and was much bigger and more dense than I'd imagined it would be. It's very full of information. Read morePublished 13 months ago by AEM