The Cinder Buggy - Garet Garrett

The Cinder Buggy

By Garet Garrett

  • Release Date - Published: 2010-12-15
  • Book Genre: Historical
  • Author: Garet Garrett
Our rating: 5/5 stars

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The Cinder Buggy Garet Garrett read online review & book description:

Garet Garrett's fiction deals with the social impact of economic transformations. In The Driver, he deals with railroads, while Satan's Bushel examines agriculture. The Cinder Buggy, his second in the trilogy, is the longest of the three and his true epoch novel and unforgettable masterpiece. With a great story, and tremendous literary passion, it chronicles the transformation of America from the age of iron to the age of steel.
It covers the period between 1820 and 1870 and its dramatic march of technology. The plot concerns an ongoing war between two industrialists, one the hero who is beaten in the first generation and the other who is malevolent but wins the first round in the competitive drive. The struggle continues through the second generation, which leads to a titanic battle over whether steel or iron will triumph and why.
Whereas this genre of fiction usually deals with real war, Garrett employs every literary device to make commerce itself the setting for great acts of courage, heroism, sacrifice, and tragedy. And, as with his other books, the central mover of events here is the price system. It is the signal for and cause of the most notable changes in the plot. The reader discovers economics in a way that might otherwise not be possible, and it is hard to imagine that anyone could come away with anything but love of the whole subject of enterprise.
Garrett does not portray the market as some idealized utopia. We have here the full range of human emotion and motivation at work: arrogance, pride, malice, love, compassion, jealousy, rage, and everything else. What is striking is that all these emotions play themselves out in a setting that is ultimately peaceful. No one can fully control how prices change, and it is these changes that act to reward virtues and punish vices.
There has never been, before or since, economic fiction that can compare with the high quality standards set by Garrett in these smashing novels. The Cinder Buggy could easily be considered the best of his work in this area. It is a wonderful novel for anyone who loves, or wants to more deeply understand, American history, economic theory, and the place of technology in the molding of society.

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