Cover image for Tales of the iron road : my life as king of the hobos
Tales of the iron road : my life as king of the hobos
Graham, Maury, 1917-2006.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Paragon House, 1990.
Physical Description:
xvii, 222 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV4505 .G83 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Starting in 1931 at age 14, Graham rode the rails until 1980. From a broken home, shunted from father to mother to aunt to married siblings, he found the family he had missed as a child in hobo camps across the country. Writing with the author of Gales of November , he stresses that he is a hobo, and not a bum or a wino, a distinction, he notes, that the general public does not always make. Five times elected King of the Hobos at the annual Hobo convention in Britt, Iowa, he laments the incipient end of hoboing, which has a history dating back to the post-Civil War era and saw its most populous days during the Depression. Now, according to Graham, with the number of rail lines cut, there may be no more than 300 true hobos. This is an intriguing look at a vanishing way of life. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

More like the gypsy than the homeless drifter, the hobo is truly a character of unique attraction, though representing a socially unacceptable way of life. Closely aligned with America's system of railroads, hobos and hoboing have been around since the Civil War, although they were much popularized during the Great Depression. ``Steam Train'' Graham began hoboing in 1931 and by 1980 had traveled countless miles across the nation. In more recent years, he has become a celebrity of sorts. In this remarkable book he relates a saga of his life and travels, not a sociological treatise. Graham has a wife and two daughters, and they share a strong sense of family. His story does much to establish a definitive history of the American hobo. Highly recommended for most collections.-- Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., Ala. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.