Western History & Genealogy Blog

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Driven From Sea to Sea ~ Book Review

The cover of "Driven from Sea to Sea"
Corporate Rapacity? Political Corruption? Is it 2011 or 1883?

In my continuing maintenance of the Western History Collection, I find some amazing items that seem to transcend time...

"Driven from Sea to Sea, or Just A Campin' " by C.C. Post, is an 1883 novel about a woman who crosses the continent with her three children to join her husband in California. The story describes Railroad Corporation abuse of the Public Interest through abuse of workers, property owners and ordinary people trampled under the corporate interest. Here are some excerpts from the end matter: 

"As a contribution to the 'simple annals of the poor,' it deserves a place by the side of 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' and it cannot fail to bear fruit in the coming struggle between the organized rapacity of capital and the rights of humanity." "The mass of our people seem either ignorant of or indifferent to the cruel conflict now raging between honest sons of toil and ruthless corporations." "It cannot fail to awaken a wide spread sympathy for the class whose cause it so forcibly espouses, and produce important practical results." "It is the story of the oppression of the poor, the honest, the brave..." "It is truly an American novel, one regrets to say, for it tells of wrongs which have existed and still exist only under the American flag." End matter.   Includes "Part 2: Bodies without souls" a collection of comments concerning corporate corruption. "It has been decided to give in the following chapters notes of warning, coming from the highest reliable sources, together with documentary proof that the most corrupt practices alone have enabled our railroad corporations to procure laws that have made it possible for such outrages to occur as are related in the story... The title 'Bodies Without Souls" is suggested by the soulless action of these corporations.

Nothing new under the sun, I guess. What we see in Wisconsin is today's version ~ powerful corporate interests changing the course of history for their own benefit, at the cost of the public interest.

We preserve the history, but we can't force people to learn from it...  

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