A Castle in the Clouds: Tom Plant and the American Dream
Written by Barry H. Rodrigue
The story of Tom Plant (1859-1941) gives us a gritty, real-life view of the American dream. Born into a poor French-Canadian family in Bath, Maine on the eve of the Civil War, he began his career as a boy laborer, cutting ice on the Kennebec River. Tom then became a union shoe-maker in the “shoe capital of the world”, in Massachusetts, financing his first workshop with a baseball wager. He went on to pioneer new trends in American business and to build the world’s largest shoe factory. An inventor, his name became front-page news in the *New York Times* during a fight with the most notorious monopoly in the United States. A celebrated outdoorsman, he laid out a vast estate on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, as well as a retirement home for workers in his hometown. An advocate of the progressive movement, Tom Plant spoke for a new, pragmatic America, one based on fairness in the workplace, conservation of nature, plural heritage, and global harmony. His d’enouement was as surprising as his triumph.
Paperback, 6″ x 9″, 288 pages