Castles in the Sand: The Life and Times of Carl Graham Fisher
In the booming early years of the 20th century, few entrepreneurs rivaled Carl Fisher (1874-1939) for sheer energy and imagination. Born in Indiana, ... Show synopsis In the booming early years of the 20th century, few entrepreneurs rivaled Carl Fisher (1874-1939) for sheer energy and imagination. Born in Indiana, he began as a bicycle racer and salesman, made his first fortune perfecting and marketing the automobile headlight, helped build the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and headed promotion of the Indy 500, and was a moving force behind the development of the Lincoln and Dixie highways, America's first improved transcontinental roads. But all of these accomplishments were only prologue to his grandest adventure, as primary developer and promoter of Miami Beach. This definitive biography of Fisher, abundantly illustrated and written in an engaging style, captures the headiness of the period. Mark Foster traces Fisher's transformation of the South Florida landscape into a tourist's dream of golf, polo, deep sea fishing, and luxury hotels and his animation of that dream with bronzed lifeguards, bathing beauties flashing new swimsuit styles, and visiting dignitaries who generated a stream of tantalizing headlines. Foster also treats Fisher's troubles with labor and with Miami businessmen, his attempted development of Montauk on Long Island, New York, and the collapse of the entire Fisher enterprise in the wake of the 1926 hurricane and the great stock market crash of 1929. Throughout, he sets Fisher's insights, triumphs, loves, and shortcomings into the context of the early 20th century. This biography of a great corporate builder reveals the emergence of a new American way of life. The man whose genius for promotion turned a swampy spit of land into a luxurious urban locale also framed aspirations of leisure and entertainment for generations ofAmericans.