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    Like the tentacles of an octopus, the railroad in California reached out across the state, grasping everything of value in the state. Based on the bloody Mussel Slough Tragedy - a conflict between wheat farmers and the Southern Pacific Railroad - The Octopus is a stunning novel chronicling the twilight of the frontier West. A depiction of the tensions between the railroad, the ranchers, and the ranchers’ League. The book emphasizes the control of “forces” - such as the power of railroad monopolies - over individuals. No one was truly innocent, as the farmers employed the same if not similar tactics as the monopolistic railroad companies, such as subversion, coercion, and violence.

    ©2004 Frank Norris (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing

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