Jul 24, 2018
“If you insulted Mackay you could expect to get in a fistfight.”
My good friend and author Greg Crouch comes back on the Paleo Treats podcast to discuss the story of John Mackay, one of the four Bonanza Kings who ran the massive profitable Con. Virginia mine on the Comstock Lode.
Greg talks about how the digital age has transformed writing about historical events, about how writing a book actually happens, and how he developed his writing style.
“I signed the contract for the book in summer of 2014, and it was published in 2018. With 3 months to go on the contract due date and after 3 years of work, I was thinking, I don’t know if I can do this!”
Greg is a West Point grad, was a Ranger during the invasion of Panama, a climber putting up first ascents in Patagonia, and an incredibly well read and thoughtful human. He’s one of my go to sources when I want to understand the world because he has an uncanny memory that is the result of years and years of reading and the big W word: Work.
Within the first page of reading The Bonanza King you’ll see just how much of that work Greg puts in a book. The facts, the background, the perspective, and the connections across a wide swath of that history show the depth and breadth of sheer study he puts in to writing a book.
From Mark Twain’s connection to John Mackay all the way to how the Civil War was affected by gold mining in Nevada, and from the development of San Francisco to the laying down of our modern lines of communications, Greg paints an incredible picture of an absolutely remarkable story.
Whether you like rags to riches, stories of hard work, engineering ingenuity, or just reading about a rippingly interesting slice of history, The Bonanza King is as good as you’ll get, and with the background of this podcast, that much more enjoyable.
Sit back and dig in to the show!
Nik @ PT