Sons of the Profits; The Seattle Story 1851-1901, or There's No Business Like Grow Business

by William C. Speidel

Hardcover, 1972

Call number

NWC 979.7 SPE



Nettle Crk. Pub. Co. (1972), 345 pages

User reviews

LibraryThing member SatansParakeet
This is an irreverent and historically accurate tale of the founding and growth of Seattle. Diving into the dirt of the city makes it an entertaining read, although the harping on the greet of the founders does get a little old.
LibraryThing member selfcallednowhere
This book was mostly very entertaining, but there were a couple of chapters I got a bit bored with. It certainly made history seem exciting and taught me more about my adopted city.
LibraryThing member jjmcgaffey
Mildly interesting - probably would have been far more interesting if I'd ever lived, or even spent any time, in Seattle. A breezy storyteller style, which was somewhat odd for a clearly well- and deeply-researched book. The problem is that that storyteller style meant a _lot_ of detail, enough to
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swamp me at times - particularly when he kept going back over the same period while focusing on a different group and different events. The fire was while Lou was a madam, what about Pinnell? Were there two separate attempts by the railroad to use the exact same methods to kill off Seattle (delaying mail and passengers, among other things), when it didn't work the first time? Or were those techniques only used once and Speidel told us about them twice from two different viewpoints? And so on. The last section focuses on the Alaskan gold rush, and how Seattle made a fortune off it - I think that era was only covered once, which made it clearer. The other thing was, the few decent people he talks about...weren't as interesting to the author as the greedy, largely amoral lot that fit the name "Sons of the Profits", so we spend most of the book deeply immersed in nasty people and their plots to make more money. It got a little dull at times. I'm glad I read it...I might even reread (or at least skim), if I were going to Seattle and planning to tour the underground. I don't see any reason other than that for rereading, for me.
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