Reverently remembers Miller’s contributions to the city of Riverside as well as to his life’s work: the Mission Inn.


Master of the Mission Inn


A focused, meticulously researched biography about Mission Inn hotelier Frank Augustus Miller.

“He is a live wire—a dreamer—a doer—a thinker—a planner—an idealist and a practicalist all combined.” These words about Miller, uttered by a friend, encapsulate the many sides to the Master of the Mission Inn, as he came to be known. From humble beginnings in Tomah, Wisconsin, the industrious Miller turned his family home into the luxurious Mission Inn in Riverside, California, over the course of 50 years. Miller, who arrived with his family in Riverside in 1874 at the age of 17, scrupulously maintained a diary that shed keen insight into his real-time feelings. These personal reflections—the book’s most rewarding section—illuminate his early fears, ambitions, love interests and struggles with temptations. An unwavering moralist, Miller held deeply ingrained religious values, and his desires for Riverside were held to this standard as his influence in town blossomed. Core values of generosity and charity became his lifelong compass and explain much of the ecclesiastical decorations that came to dominate the Mission Inn. Miller’s curiosity and energy never waned; he constantly sought wares far and wide to enhance the Mission Inn’s worldly aura. Stories about how Miller obtained some of the Mission Inn’s most unique pieces—including six Tiffany stained-glass chapel windows and a myriad of Japanese artifacts—are richly described. The Tiffany windows, as with much of the aesthetic at the Mission Inn, were influenced by the women in Miller’s life, and the story rightfully praises their often unheralded contributions. Hailed as the “first citizen” of Riverside, Miller had a journey parallel to the city’s progression; their histories can’t be untwined, and tracing Miller’s life allows for a comprehensive look into Riverside’s evolution from a pioneer town in the West to a modern, budding city. As a direct result of Miller’s dedicated work, the Mission Inn is Riverside’s greatest example of culture, prosperity and longevity.

Reverently remembers Miller’s contributions to the city of Riverside as well as to his life’s work: the Mission Inn.

Pub Date: Jan. 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9762785-1-1

Page Count: 478

Publisher: Ashburton Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 7, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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