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"Octavus Roy Cohen (June 26, 1891-January 6, 1959) was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of Octavus Cohen, a lawyer and newspaper editor, and Rebecca Ottolengui. The Cohens were an old and distinguished Jewish family, very much a part of Charleston’s literary society. While Epic Peters: Pullman Porter covers well the black porter of the 1920s, Cohen conveys an intimate knowledge of passenger service on the busy main line of the Southern Railway between Birmingham, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, and New York City. Cohen’s work is the next-best-thing to having an oral history of a Pullman porter during the hey-day of intercity train travel, at a time when the Pullman Company was one of the largest employers of African-Americans. Epic Peters wonderfully encapsulates virtually everything that was once the life of a Pullman porter." Alan Grub and H. Roger Grant


Clemson University

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Epic Peters: Pullman Porter