West Like Lighting, The Brief Legendary Ride of the Pony Express by Jim DeFelice; 2018; $27.99; 357 pages; William Morrow, New York, NY; 978-0-06-249676-8; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Fairview; 8/27/18-6/1/18
Why did I ride this? Because the old west intrigues me and the Pony Express is an almost mythological part of the history of the frontier of the United States.
The author takes us on an intriguing ride along the route of the Pony Express from St. Joseph, Missouri to San Francisco, California as the results of the 1860 Presidential election are being spread across the country. We are introduced to riders, station managers, the Express owners, politicians, Native Americans, the countryside the ride traversed and a sense of what the context of the times was. This is so much more than just a history of the pony express, the author does a great job of putting the times in a context that makes sense. I would recommend this who anyone is interested in the frontier history of the United States.
What is with the title of the review? The Pony Express only lasted for eighteen months and was only supposed to last until the transcontinental telegraph system was completed. Its mythological footprint in the history of the United States is much bigger than its actual impact on the United States.