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The Leland Palmer

The Leland Palmer

Ingredients

  • 3 cups freshly brewed jasmine tea, cooled
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 6 lemon slices (for garnish)

Recipe Preparation

  • Stir honey and 1/2 cup hot water in small bowl until honey dissolves. Cool completely.

  • Combine honey water, jasmine tea, gin, limoncello, lemon juice, and grapefruit juice in large pitcher. Add club soda and stir to blend.

  • Fill six 1-pint mason jars or 6 tall glasses with ice cubes. Divide tea mixture among jars; top each with lemon slice.

Recipe by Andrew Knowlton, Damon Boelte,

Nutritional Content

One cup contains the following: Calories (kcal) 267.2 %Calories from Fat 0.0 Fat (g) 0.0 Saturated Fat (g) 0.0 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Carbohydrates (g) 40.3 Dietary Fiber (g) 0.0 Total Sugars (g) 35.8 Net Carbs (g) 40.1 Protein (g) 0.3Reviews Section

The Weekend Cocktail: Twin Peaks inspired Leland Palmer

I have a very dear friend, Steve Love, who has been co-creating recipes with me for many years. Emma and I enjoyed brunch at his house this summer and he made the most amazing and refreshing cocktail. Thank you Steve for being a constant source of culinary and cocktail inspiration.

The Leland Palmer was created by Damon Boelte, bar manager at Prime Meats in Brooklyn. “I was in Los Angeles visiting my girlfriend, enjoying my favorite hangover drink, the Arnold Palmer, and watching an episode of Twin Peaks, where Leland Palmer almost whacks Agent Cooper with a golf club. Sometimes things just make sense,” says Boelte. For his adult version of the popular drink that’s half lemonade and half iced tea, Boelte combines gin, jasmine tea, Limóncello, lemon juice, and grapefruit juice in a pitcher. It’s summer’s essential back-porch sipper, and, Boelte adds, “It’s definitely much better than a golf club to the head.” Makes 6

Sometimes for gifts I make homemade Limóncello. It is super easy and ever so tasty and with all of the Southern California lemons I get it is a real no brainier! I have included the recipe. If you are planning on making it for the holidays you need to start mid October so it is ready for gifts in December. Cheers!

THE LELAND PALMER

· 3 cups freshly brewed jasmine tea, cooled

· 1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice

· 6 lemon slices (for garnish)

·Stir honey and 1/2 cup hot water in small bowl until honey dissolves. Cool completely. Combine honey water, jasmine tea, gin, Limóncello, lemon juice, and grapefruit juice in large pitcher. Add club soda and stir to blend. Fill six 1-pint mason jars or 6 tall glasses with ice cubes. Divide tea mixture among jars top each with lemon slice.

17 large lemons, preferably Meyers when in season

Two 750-milliliter bottles grain alcohol or 100 proof vodka

Wash and dry the lemons. With a paring knife, remove the ends. With a vegetable peeler, remove only the yellow rind, leaving the pith intact. (Squeeze juice from the lemons and reserve for another use.) Place the lemon peel in a 4-quart Mason jar with a rubber-seal lid. Add the grain alcohol, making sure the lemon peel is completely covered. Store in a cool, dark place, shaking the jar once each day to agitate the lemon peel.

On the 14th day, bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the sugar and remove from the heat, stirring until it is dissolved. Cover and let cool to room temperature. Place a colander on top of the saucepan and strain in the contents of the Mason jar. Discard the lemon peel. Stir to combine the liquids, about 1 minute. Transfer back to the Mason jar. Store for 1 month in a cool, dark place, shaking to agitate the liquid twice a day. After 1 month, transfer the Limóncello to smaller bottles that can be sealed with rubber stoppers.


Summer Cocktails: The Leland Palmer

I’m taking a short vacation this weekend. And before you say something like, “You need a vacation from eating and sitting at a computer?” just know that I thought of it first and, well, valid point.

Regardless, I’ll be joining some old friends at a lake house for a few days of. more eating. But less computer sitting. We’ll also be drinking. Occasionally we’ll talk to each other and swim, but I’ll mostly be eating and drinking. Do what you love, amirite?

There’s just something about drinking near a body of water that feels right. Beers on the beach. Liquor by the lake. Tequila by the toilet. You get the drift.

While I’m chilling out max and relaxing all cool, my drink of choice will be the Leland Palmer. And, since we cannot all be drunk at the same lake house, I hope you find the time to get drunk in your own house while trying not to think about what I look like in a lake. (Boat cops keep mistaking me for a corpse, which is a bummer.)

Or, if you’re a recovering alcoholic, probably stop reading this and click here for something that’s just about food.

I learned about this magical concoction from Bon Appetit several years ago and I’ve never forgotten it. For ease of use, I’ve made a few minor changes, but if you click the link above you’ll see the original recipe.

Most of us probably know the Arnold Palmer as a cross between lemonade and iced tea, popularized by the golfer of the same name. Was Arnold anti-alcohol? I’ve never quite figured that out. However it came about, it’s an absolute delight.

But Leland Palmer, portrayed by Ray Wise, was less delightful. Fans of “Twin Peaks” might remember Palmer as the human possessed by Killer Bob. The man did a fair bit of drinking (and murdering his daughter and niece, SPOILERS!). So it’s pretty much just an alcoholic version of the Arnold Palmer, which is great for drinking when it’s hot.

Ingredients

3 cups unsweetened iced tea (Red Diamond is a fine product)

¾ cup gin (sub in vodka if necessary)

¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions

  1. Mix honey and hot water, stirring until the honey dissolves. Shove that in the fridge.
  2. Squeeze those lemons. Squeeze ‘em hard.
  3. Once the honey mixture is cold, mix it with the tea, gin, limoncello, lemon juice and grapefruit juice. Dump in the club soda and stir it up.
  4. Put some ice in a cup and pour the drink and why do I have to explain this to you? You’ve prepared a beverage before.

This recipe doubles and triples and quadruples well. Just make sure you’ve got enough pitchers to hold all of it. Everyone will drink it pretty quickly, because it’s delicious and refreshing and they didn’t have to make it. But you’ll drink plenty of their sangria, so let’s not start pointing red-stained fingers at each other.

The original recipe was created by Andrew Knowlton and Damon Boelte at Bon Appetit. I’d like to buy those guys a drink.

What are your favorite summer cocktails? Share your recipes (and the source, if possible) in the comments.

Big thanks to the bartenders at Flint for making a Leland Palmer for me using Oxley gin. Flint's patio is a perfect spot to enjoy one of these (and lots of other summery drinks) under an umbrella while getting gently misted. And thanks to Kristina Tanksley for helping make this happen.


Tea Recipe: the Leland Palmer

It’s official – tea cocktails have officially made it into the big time.

Well, in this month’s issue of Bon Appetit, the very first recipe in the magazine is, you guessed it, a tea cocktail!

The recipe comes from Damon Boelte, bar manager at Prime Meats in Brooklyn, and as soon as my copy came in the mail (yesterday afternoon) I concocted this drink (yesterday afternoon). The tea-infused libation, called the Leland Palmer, was fantastic. Here’s the recipe (with a few suggestions thrown in from your friendly neighborhood Tea Sommelier):

The Leland Palmer

3 cups freshly brewed Jasmine Dream, cooled

3/4 cup gin (recommended: Bluecoat gin)

1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice

6 lemon slices (for garnish)

Stir honey and 1/2 cup hot water in small bowl until honey dissolves. Cool completely.

Combine honey water, jasmine tea, gin, limoncello, lemon juice, and grapefruit juice in large pitcher. Add club soda and stir to blend.

Fill six 1-pint mason jars or 6 tall glasses with ice cubes. Divide tea mixture among jars top each with lemon slice.


Fire Walk With Me: how David Lynch's film went from laughing stock to the key to Twin Peaks

T win Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is David Lynch’s film maudit. With the revival of the director’s seminal TV series currently earning acclaim, it might be hard from today’s perspective to fathom the stink the prequel caused when it was released back in 1992. Although there has been a critical reappraisal in recent times, Fire Walk With Me’s reputation at the time was of the atrocious movie from a director who’d lost his pop-surrealist mojo.

When it was released in 691 screens across the US on 28 August, the show’s rabid fanbase were feverishly expecting another slice of quirky cherry pie on a bigger canvas, with all their favourite characters back and as adorably odd as ever. Instead, they were presented with an intense, sordid, phantasmagorical tragedy about sexual abuse and loneliness, filled with bizarre sequences and wacky details – David Bowie showing up as rogue FBI agent, for instance – that, detractors claimed, made zero sense to anybody but the director and co-writer Robert Engels.

Even before the cameras rolled, it was clear things weren’t going to plan. The show’s co-creator Mark Frost fell out with Lynch over whether the movie should be a straightforward sequel to the two TV series or a prequel focused on Laura Palmer’s last days. Frost walked away. Kyle MacLachlan dragged his feet over returning to play the heroic Agent Dale Cooper, finally acquiescing only to a small role. Lara Flynn Boyle then threw a major spanner into the works by refusing to come back as Donna Hayward. This was a potential project wrecker. In the end, Lynch was forced to recast Moira Kelly as the new Donna.

Fire Walk With Me’s reception at Cannes has entered festival lore as one of the most disastrous ever. When the credits rolled, any positive responses from the Cannes crowd were drowed out by boos. Reviewers lined up to give the film a shiner, the New York Times’s Vincent Canby summing up the general mood. “It’s not the worst movie ever made it just seems to be,” he wrote. “It glazes the eyes and the mind.”

Even fellow film-makers stuck the boot in. Motormouth Quentin Tarantino, on the Croisette with his era-defining crime movie Reservoir Dogs, blabbed that one of his favourite directors had “disappeared so far up his own ass that I have no desire to see another David Lynch movie until I hear something different”.

David Bowie as FBI agent Phillip Jeffries Photograph: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

After that, Fire Walk With Me was ignored for years, until a revival of its fortunes earlier this decade thanks to critics such as Mark Kermode, who described the film as “maligned but frankly marvellous” in a 2012 video series. The following year, the Village Voice’s Calum Marsh declared it “Lynch’s masterpiece” in a reappraisal that applauded the film’s refusal to offer comfort or easy answers to life’s horrors.

Revisiting Fire Walk With Me today, it is clear the film was a huge creative gamble, paddling in the shallows of the horror genre but never taking the plunge. The opening 25 minutes discombobulate the viewer. The setting is Deer Meadow, a sort of alternate, hellish Twin Peaks, where two FBI agents are investigating the murder of drifter Teresa Banks (Pamela Gidley). The only connecting thread to the established plot is Banks’s relationship with Laura’s father Leland. Visually, the evergreen look of the show is completely absent, the screen instead awash with the glow of ambers and gold, or eye-popping neon light. Lynch also had Angelo Badalamenti compose a new theme a haunting, woozy jazz piece.

Lynch could only get away with so much on network television, but the big screen afforded him an opportunity to truly show off Twin Peaks’ dark side. The town’s seedy underbelly was picked at like a scab, while the horrors suffered by Laura Palmer were lingered on with surgical focus. Lindsay Hallam, author of a forthcoming book on the film, thinks the allergic reaction in 1992 was in part because “Lynch does not let us off the hook – we are taken so far into Laura’s experience, without any respite and with none of the humour associated with the series”.

Sheryl Lee and Ray Wise as Laura and Leland Palmer. Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext

Putting Laura Palmer front and centre gave the actor Sheryl Lee the chance to play more than the dead girl wrapped in plastic or her buttoned-down doppelganger cousin Maddy. Laura is reintroduced as alone, afraid and emotionally broken, traumatised by the abuse she is experiencing at the hands of her demonically possessed father. Lee’s capturing of Laura’s inner turmoil and fatalism is virtuosic.

But Fire Walk With Me is not just an artistic triumph in its own right, it’s the key to the entire Twin Peaks universe. At the annual Television Critics Association event in January, the usually tight-lipped Lynch explained that Fire Walk With Me was “very much important” to understanding the events of the new season. He wasn’t kidding. They links are numerous: the meaning of “blue rose” the function of the jade ring the use of electricity as a malevolent supernatural force what became of Laura’s missing diary pages. Most crucially, Phillip Jeffries’s ambiguous line “We live inside a dream” has been revisited in what might be Lynch’s attempt at a unifying theory. “We are like the dreamer who dreams and then lives inside the dream,” Monica Bellucci, playing herself in a black and-white-dream sequence, tells Gordon Cole (played by Lynch), at one point in the new season.

The direction taken by the current series – which is nothing at all like the original – owes everything to the groundwork laid by the prequel. “I’ll see you again in 25 years,” Red Room Laura told Cooper in the bonkers finale of the second season. A quarter of a century on, the film is being rightly rediscovered by fans and critics as Lynch’s unsung masterwork . It took a long time, and it took its toll on its maker, but Fire Walk W ith Me has finally come in from the cold.


Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978)

It seems kind of meta that Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is a parody of B-movies, which, let’s face it, are already a parody of real cinema. This one leans into the dark comedy, though, making it an utter delight to watch. It’s also, somewhat questionably, a musical. Tomatoes gain sentience and go on a rampage the only thing that can stop them is playing the song “Puberty Love” over a stadium loudspeaker, which causes them to shrink enough to be squashed.


On the other hand…

Sometimes I don’t cheat, but do everything by hand with attention to little details. The picture below was my lunch today.

In the UK, a popular fast food, prepared at home, served in many “caffs,” or sold from “vans” at street markets, is Jacket Potato. This is just what we in the US call a baked potato, but in the UK, it is always — and I can’t stress this enough — always! cut open with a single slash lengthwise on top, squooshed a bit to push the potato out, and topped with either just butter or any of various toppings.

The three most popular toppings to make a meal out of it are — baked beans, broccoli and cheese, or “tuna mayo.” Translating again, tuna mayo, like egg mayo or chicken mayo, is what Americans call tuna salad, egg salad or chicken salad. (In the UK, those things mean a green salad with tuna, egg, or chicken added.) This makes a lot of sense to me, so I have continued to call it Tuna Mayo since repatriating.

Tuna Mayo is something I almost never make the same way. Another way to put it is that I have been experimenting with this dish my entire life, seeking the ever-elusive perfect combination of condiments, crunchies, green bits, and taste to elevate tuna mayo to greatness.

I am going to give a recipe for the tuna mayo in the dish shown above, because it was darned close to greatness.


Twin Peaks' final scene: 25 years on, it's as disturbing as ever

It had been a long season, filled with humour and flailing and complete misdirection, by the time Kyle McLachlan’s Agent Cooper returned to the Red Room, a kind of purgatory in the thick woods outside Twin Peaks. “I’ll see you again in 25 years,” a spirit who looked like Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) told him in that episode, which aired 25 years ago today. Cooper had gone into the Red Room to save his love interest Annie (Heather Graham) from remaining in the Black Lodge – the show’s version of hell – indefinitely. He succeeded, but not before being pursued through the Red Room’s maze by a doppelganger.

Cooper woke up in his hotel room, surrounded by the sheriff and a doctor. He asked, “How’s Annie?” He was reassured that she was all right. He stepped into the hotel bathroom. He picked up a tube of toothpaste. He began squirting it into the sink. He looked at himself in the mirror then, and his eyes went dark. Suddenly, he smashed his forehead into his reflection. But the reflection, as it turned out, wasn’t his: it was of the demon Bob (Frank Silva), a malevolent entity with a flair for denim. The mirror cracked into a cobweb, blood dripped into the sink.

Turning toward the door, where the sheriff was knocking, Cooper took on Bob’s rictus grin, and starts mocking his act: “How’s Annie? How’s Annie? How’s Annie?”

It was the beginning of a story, not the end. But it was the very last scene of Twin Peaks as a network show that had been weirder than anything television had seen before it aired in 1990 and 1991. ABC cancelled its hit show because it had struggled to keep the interest of its viewers after it revealed that Leland Palmer (Ray Wise), by way of Bob, was the one who’d killed his daughter, Laura. The mystery solved, some obsessives proved fickle and ratings dropped below blockbuster levels.

In hindsight, this seems silly of the network. They had a genuine piece of art in their hands, and one that had proven, with proper directing, to be able to sustain wide popular appeal. Whatever replaced Twin Peaks in its time slot has long been forgotten. Meanwhile our friends of the White and Black Lodges are still hot enough that a prequel appeared in 1992, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. And Showtime will air its revival sometime late next spring with nearly the full cast returning, picking up where that uniquely strange scene left off, presumably to illuminate us on what Laura Palmer’s ghost truly meant by “I’ll see you again in 25 years.”

It’s almost like we’ve forgotten that when Twin Peaks disappeared from prime time, it had long been without a narrative direction. According to Brad Dukes’ Reflections: An Oral History of Twin Peaks, for most of the second season, David Lynch and Mark Frost, the show’s creators, were preoccupied with other projects. (Lynch did not participate in the book, but Frost did.) And it’s not clear that there was ever a larger vision for the series than the nine-episode version of its first season. When Laura’s murderer was revealed, for example, even Wise wasn’t entirely sure that he was going to be the ultimate bad guy. “David said, ‘Ray, it’s you. It was always you,’” Wise is quoted as saying in Reflections. “I don’t know if that was true in his mind the whole time.”

Plotting was never the key to Twin Peaks anyway, only an excellent means of advertising, with “Who killed Laura Palmer?” plastered on bumper stickers across the country. Any detective novel worth the price on the cover could deliver twists just as unexpected as those which permeated Cooper’s investigation into Palmer’s death. What most any other show probably could not do is sustain the key Twin Peaks atmosphere of undeniable strangeness, the sweet combined with the sick in, for example, the weird way that Agent Cooper was obsessed with pie. No one is behaving recognizably human, most of the time, but it is possible to have great affection for the characters’ individual quirks. The pitch of the acting was always full tilt, campy without totally abandoning certain emotional undercurrents. It was uncanny camp, at best.

The supernatural elements of the show – the White and Black Lodges, the Red Room – obviously helped to keep goosebumps raised in the audience. But they were not strictly narrative “mythologies” in the way one comes to expect from genre shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer or space operas. The horror of Bob was the horror of the way he looked, the way he walked, the fixed gaze of his eyes. He did not need a complicated backstory to menace you. Not unlike another bad guy of early-90s television, Tim Curry’s Pennywise the clown, the very look of him was enough. Backstory was irrelevant.

Whether the new show will be able to recreate that atmosphere is really the key question. Frost and Lynch have had 25 years to build up a proper story. Frank Silva, the set dresser who Lynch cast as Bob on a whim, died in the interim since the last series. But Lynch, reportedly, has directed the entire show himself. His brand of the uncanny can hardly be missing. After all, that unforgettable finale was largely Lynch’s baby. In Reflections, Dukes’ sources told him that last episode was shot largely off script, with Lynch improvising. The result was a magnetic hour that seemed to return to every element that had made the first 15 or 16 episodes of the show so unforgettable. It was too late by the time that last scene aired to save it. Hopefully that won’t be the case this time.


Only you can stop the scourge of unseasoned chicken

I’m not here to alarm anyone, but there is a crisis spreading in kitchens across America. Every day, an unknown number of citizens silently cook their chicken without any seasoning. They may even serve this chicken to others. But absent any government action on this emergency, there is something each of us concerned cooks can do to help stop this scourge.

We can properly season or marinate our chicken, and teach others to do the same. The power is in our hands.

Why address this now? Because, if this viral tweet is any evidence , the unseasoned chicken epidemic has reached a staggering level of severity. We thought perhaps Oprah had stopped the threat of flavorless chicken in its tracks, but no. Today Twitter user @corihealey found thousands of takers when she asked people to join her in despair over her boyfriend’s roommate’s horrifying unseasoned baked chicken.

Thankfully, The Takeout editors can share the few, simple precautions all of us can take to avoid rubbery, dry, under-seasoned poultry. If you don’t have days to follow the tried-and-true, salt-rubbed method , try these super-easy flavor additions in a pinch:

  • Marinate chicken breast in a zip-top bag filled with bottled Italian dressing.
  • Slather chicken in a mixture of half mayo, half dijon mustard, then bake it.
  • Shellac the chicken in butter before roasting.
  • Marinate chicken in plain Greek yogurt plus any vaguely Mediterranean herbs and spices you have on hand.
  • Roast the chicken with the absolute simplest trio: olive oil, lemon juice, garlic.

My fellow Americans, seasoned chicken is our unalienable right. And rights, we must remember, require constant defense from the forces who would seek to strip us of them . There is no excuse for unseasoned chicken in a world where handy flavor packets exist. Please do not let this threat go unanswered.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

I was at a catered event recently and the main protein of the event was chicken skewers WITHOUT SEASONING. Just naked breast on a wooden stick. They plopped two ramekins, one with a peanut sauce (which I’m convinced was just peanut butter and canola oil) and one some sort of shitty salsa. It was mind blowing. I hadn’t consumed unseasoned chicken since I was 5. To add further insult to my indignation, the overcooked it. Like swallowing moccasins it was!


Op-Ed: Remember the Chinese immigrants who built America’s first transcontinental railroad

The nation’s first transcontinental railroad, completed 150 years ago today at Promontory Summit in Utah, connected the vast United States and brought America into the modern age. Chinese immigrants contributed mightily to this feat, but the historical accounts that followed often marginalized their role.

Between 1863 and 1869, as many as 20,000 Chinese workers helped build the treacherous western portion of the railroad, a winding ribbon of track known as the Central Pacific that began in Sacramento.

At first, the Central Pacific Railroad’s directors wanted a whites-only workforce. Leland Stanford, the railroad’s president, had advocated for keeping Asians out of the state in his 1862 inaugural address as governor of California. When not enough white men signed up, the railroad began hiring Chinese men for the backbreaking labor. No women worked on the line.

Company leaders were skeptical of the new recruits’ ability to do the work, but the Chinese laborers proved themselves more than capable — and the railroad barons came to consider them superior to the other workers.

The Chinese workers were paid 30% to 50% less than their white counterparts and were given the most dangerous work.

My colleagues and I initiated an international research project — based, appropriately, at Stanford University — to investigate the enormous contribution Chinese workers made to the transcontinental project. It proved to be a formidable task, not least because no written record produced by what were called “railroad Chinese” is known to exist. Without letters, diaries and other primary sources that are historians’ stock in trade, we amassed a sizable collection of evidence that included archaeological findings, ship manifests, payroll records, photographs and observers’ accounts.

The material allowed us to recover a sense of the lived experiences of the thousands of Chinese migrants Leland Stanford came to greatly admire. He told President Andrew Johnson that the Chinese were indispensable to building the railroad: They were “quiet, peaceable, patient, industrious and economical.” In a stockholder report, Stanford described construction as a “herculean task” and said it had been accomplished thanks to the Chinese, who made up 90% of the Central Pacific Railroad’s labor force.

These workers showed their mettle, and sealed their legacy, on the peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Many observers at the time had assumed that Stanford and the railroad were daft for thinking they could link California with the East because an immense mountain range separated the state from Nevada and beyond. The Sierra Nevada is a rugged, formidable range, its inhospitableness encapsulated by the gruesome tragedy of the Donner party in 1847 and 1848. Trapped by winter storms in the mountains, they resorted to cannibalism.

To get to the High Sierra, Chinese workers cut through dense forests, filled deep ravines, constructed long trestles and built enormous retaining walls — some of which remain intact today. All work was done by hand using carts, shovels and picks but no machinery.

The greatest challenge was to push the line through the Sierra summit. Solid granite peaks soared to 14,000 feet in elevation. The railroad bed snaked through passes at more than 7,000 feet. The men who came from humid south China labored through two of the worst winters on record, surviving in caverns dug beneath the snow.

They blasted out 15 tunnels, the longest nearly 1,700 feet. To speed up the carving of the tunnels, the Chinese laborers worked from several directions. After opening portals along the rock face on either side of the mountain, they dug an 80-foot shaft down to the estimated midway point. From there, they carved out toward the portals, doubling the rate of progress by tunneling from both sides. It still took two years to accomplish the task.

The Chinese workers were paid 30% to 50% less than their white counterparts and were given the most dangerous work. In June 1867, they protested. Three-thousand workers along the railroad route went on strike, demanding wage parity, better working conditions and shorter hours. At the time it was the largest worker action in American history. The railroad refused to negotiate but eventually raised the Chinese workers’ pay, though not to parity.

After the Sierra, the Chinese workers faced the blistering heat of the Nevada and Utah deserts, yet they drove ahead at an astonishing rate.

As they approached the meeting point with the Union Pacific, thousands of them laid down a phenomenal 10 miles of track in less than 24 hours, a record that has never been equaled. A Civil War officer who witnessed the drama declared that the Chinese were “just like an army marching over the ground and leaving the track behind.”

Progress came at great cost: Many Chinese laborers died along the Central Pacific route. The company kept no records of deaths. But soon after the line was completed, Chinese civic organizations retrieved an estimated 1,200 bodies along the route and sent them home to China for burial.

The transcontinental railroad’s completion allowed travelers to journey across the country in a week — a trip that had previously taken more than a month. Politicians pointed to the achievement as they declared the United States the leading nation of the world.

The transcontinental railroad has been viewed in a similarly nationalistic way ever since. Chinese workers were often left out of the official story because their alienage and suffering did not fit well with celebration. And attitudes toward them soon soured, with anti-Chinese riots sweeping the country. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 barred Chinese laborers from entering the United States and placed restrictions on those already here.

Federal immigration law prohibited Chinese citizens from becoming Americans until 1943.

As a faculty member of the university that bears his name, I am painfully aware that Leland Stanford became one of the world’s richest men by using Chinese labor. But I also try to remember that Stanford University exists because of those Chinese workers. Without them, Leland Stanford would probably be at best a footnote in history — and the West and the United States would not exist as we know it today.


Watch the video: Twin Peaks. Madeleine Fergusons death. Твин Пикс. Смерть Мадлен Фергюсон. (January 2022).