Ain't Nothing but a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry by Scott Reynolds Nelson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Author Scott Reynolds Nelson seeks to find the truth behind the folksong “John Henry”, the story of a contest between John Henry, a strong steel drivin' man, and a steam drill. Was there really a man named John Henry? Did he challenge and beat a steam drill? Nelson takes us step by step through the process that he used to answer these questions and more to find the real John Henry.
I put this book on my "must read" list. John Henry is a icon in American folklore - the symbol of man vs. the machine. No one truly knows who the real John Henry was or even where the legendary contest took place. Many have sought to find this information, and Scott Nelson will not be the last. However, the journey Nelson takes on his historical quest to find John Henry and the meaning behind the song is both entertaining and educational. Did he find the real John Henry? You will have to read the book and draw your own conclusion.
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