JULY 3, 2013

Biographer of Fred Harvey, founder of first U.S. restaurant and hotel chain, speaks at Heard Museum

Stephen Fried, author of ‘Appetite for America,’ to lecture Aug. 8
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stephan friedPHOENIX – The Heard Museum’s Books & More presents an appearance by Stephen Fried, author of the biography, Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West – One Meal at a Time (now a Bantam paperback), in a lecture at noon Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, in the museum’s Steele Auditorium, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix.

The event is free and open to the public. Fried, who is making a return appearance to the Heard by popular demand, will sign copies of the book at this appearance.

Attendees may reserve a complete box lunch to enjoy at the event from the Heard’s Courtyard Café. Each box lunch is $14.95.To order, call 602-251-0204 before 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6.

According to his website, Fried, 52, is an award-winning investigative journalist and essayist and an adjunct professor of journalism at Columbia University’s graduate school of journalism. A two-time winner of the National Magazine Award -- the Pulitzer Prize of magazine writing -- Fried has been a prolific writer of feature stories and personal essays for Vanity Fair, The Washington Post Magazine, GQ, Rolling Stone, Glamour, Ladies' Home Journal and Philadelphia magazine (where he spent two years as editor-in-chief).

With one lunch counter in Topeka, Kan., Fred Harvey (1835-1901) began the nation’s first chain of what became dozens of restaurants and hotels. According to the book description on amazon.com:

“As a young immigrant, Fred Harvey worked his way up from dishwasher to household name: He was Ray Kroc before McDonald’s, J. Willard Marriott before Marriott Hotels, Howard Schultz before Starbucks. His eating houses and hotels along the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad (including historic lodges still in use at the Grand Canyon) were patronized by princes, presidents, and countless ordinary travelers looking for the best cup of coffee in the country…. With the verve and passion of Fred Harvey himself, Stephen Fried tells the story of how this visionary built his business from a single lunch counter into a family empire whose marketing and innovations we still encounter in myriad ways.”

Several items donated or loaned by the Fred Harvey Foundation are on display in the museum. Appetite for America was named one of the 10 best books of 2010 by The Wall Street Journal and the Philadelphia Inquirer:

“Splendid ... remarkable ... the affectionate and entertaining story of a man who saw the American West for what it could be, and made it a reality.” –The Arizona Republic

“Delicious ... very satisfying ... Harvey’s amazing story is a tale of trailblazing entrepreneurship in trying circumstances.” – USA Today

“I've been devouring the story of Fred Harvey in the new book Appetite for America ... when you read the descriptions of this impeccable level of service and the incredible attention to detail in restaurants and in hotels, where design was everything and everything had to look beautiful, it just makes you want to cry because so little of that is left...” -- Melissa Block, NPR’s “All Things Considered”