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Friday, September 13, 2013

The Kings Best Highway

I have to write a review of this book, "The Kings Best Highway" because I'm constantly citing it, sometimes forgetting to give it credit because nearly every word and story in it is engraved in my memory and heart, and it opened my mind to some ideas for how to improve our Federal System by going "back to" the kind of Post Office that Benjamin Franklin and other Founders envisioned.

The Post Office enabled our country in so many ways. And I'm grateful to this book for explaining some of them with wonderful stories about how the Boston/New York Post started out as a link between the Dutch Governor of New York and the British Governor in Boston and grew from there from a messenger route of horseback callers, to eventually our modern post office.

Along the way it tells so many wonderful stories: It tells how Benjamin Franklin indeed was the mastermind of American independence by encouraging Post Masters to buy printing presses and print newspapers. How we built that free press with subsidies so good that people would write letters in the margins of newspapers and mail those because they were cheaper than letters. It tells the story of the "committees of correspondence" that provided an alternative to British tyranny through the Post Office after King George fired Franklin and replaced him with Tories. And it tells the story of the revolution, much of which occurred along the postal routes between Boston and New York. It also includes the work that Lincoln did to defeat the spirit of compromise that had the South using corrupt courts to extend slavery to, and force it on, the North and how he showed that it was a lie that the Constitution gave the government no right to regulate its extension. And how he did this riding the rails, which the post office helped create. The narrative covers so many good stories that I'm not really spoiling reading the book.

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