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Stagecoach : Wells Fargo and the American West - Philip L. Fradkin


Wells Fargo and the American West

By: Philip L. Fradkin, J. S. Holliday (Foreword by)

Paperback | 11 March 2003 | Edition Number 1

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How one company became a permanent part of the transient American West and shaped its cultural and social landscape. Any account of Wells Fargo & Company involves a history of the more dramatic aspects of the Old West. From 1852 to 1918, the company's operations bisected almost all social, cultural, and economic activities in the Trans-Mississippi West and were conducted in diverse physical landscapes. Its early history illuminates the booms and busts of gold and silver mining rushes, the collection and distribution of mail, the rise and fall of banks, the Pony Express, overland staging, the building of the transcontinental railroad, the Civil War and Indian wars, the violence of robbers and gunfighters, the development of agriculture, the rise of capitalist entrepreneurs, the regulation and disbanding of monopolies, and the return of the entrepreneurs with deregulation. In January 1848, Wells Fargo's agents in California's gold regions provided basic banking and safe express transport services of gold and letters for thousands of miners, using Concord stagecoaches, 'built stout' to withstand the rigors of Western travel. Along with the nostalgic appeal of its Old West identity, readers will discover that speed, security, and connectivity have been constants in the company's long history, themes that remain more important than ever in modern banking today, from credit cards to cashpoint machines.
Industry Reviews
Jonathon Kirsch The Los Angeles Times Book Review Both a colorful work of frontier history and a cool-headed corporate biography....Fradkin surveys the history of Wells Fargo in all its sweep.

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