Review: Les Standiford’s ‘Water to the Angels’

March 27, 2015 12:11 PM

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Review: Les Standiford’s ‘Water to the Angels’

Water to the Angels marks another return to the Gilded Age for Miami writer Les Standiford. In 2005’s Meet You In Hell, Standiford chronicled the strained collaboration and rivalry of steel and coke magnates Andrew Carnegie and Ford Frick. In 2002’s engaging Last Train to Paradise, he masterfully told the story of Standard Oil tycoon Henry Flagler, risking a huge chunk of his fortune to build the fabled “train over water” linking Miami to Key West.

Water to the Angels focuses on a slightly different Gilded Age archetype. A hard-working Irish immigrant who never finished high school, William Mulholland didn’t come from money. But he was as transformative a figure as Carnegie, Frick or Flagler. Mulholland rose from cleaning ditches to the positi...

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