Stephen Fried is an award-winning investigative journalist and essayist and an adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is the author of Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia (the inspiration for the Emmy-winning film Gia), Bitter Pills, The New Rabbi, and Husbandry. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, author Diane Ayres.

Before there was McDonald's, businessman Fred Harvey built the first fast food—and hospitality—empire across America. Stephen Fried in his new book tells this remarkable story of how his waitresses and steaks conquered the West.