The Octopus

norrisocThe Octopus
by Frank Norris
1901 / 421 pages
rating 8.5

I’ve wanted to read this for a long time because the historical situation unfolded about 50 miles from where I live and it still gets some play in the news once in a great while.

Frank Norris,  using a naturalist and muckraking technique, fictionalized the following story:

Back in  1880 the Southern Pacific and other companies used their land grants from the US government to build railroads  from Oregon to Los Angeles.  The railroads got an enormous amount of land in a checkerboard layout (this happened throughout the US)  with farmers buying the alternating sections.  The deal was that when the tracks were in the railroads were to sell the extra acreage to the farmers at a very reasonable rate.

That’s not exactly what happened in this case though. >>>>MORE (no spoilers)>>>> 

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