“In American Phoenix, Kilborne weaves a compelling, richly textured tale of a tragic flood, an indomitable man, and the perils and promise of silk. She has a gift for unearthing the poignant, long-forgotten details that breathe life into history.”
Amy Butler Greenfield, author of A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire

“Many business histories are also family stories, and Sarah Kilborne tells hers with beautiful prose, meticulous research and the revelations that only personal archives can provide. In a book with special relevance for our own times, Kilborne gives us an American ideal in short supply these days: the self-made man who gets knocked down, only to climb back up again — stronger than ever. Going well beyond the constraints of any business case study, Kilborne works through what can only have been daunting accretions of history to show, with breathtaking clarity, the mechanics of American industrial success.”
—Jacob Soll, Professor of History, USC, MacArthur “Genius” Grant Recipient, and author of The Information Master

“A compelling, comprehensive biography of a man who contributed much to American manufacturing–perfect for readers who like to root for the underdog.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Kilborne’s biography of her great-great-grandfather tells a story of entrepreneurial struggle triumphing over seemingly insurmountable obstacles, a familiar trope in American culture.”
Library Journal

“A fascinating history of the industrial age [and] an incredible look at the challenges and rewards of succeeding in business…wonderfully told.”
Chris Rose, Andover Bookstore

“Although New England’s manufacturing mills shut down years ago, many of the brick buildings with the tall windows are still standing. This beautifully written and irresistible biography  of a penniless immigrant who never gave up represents a history of Yankee achievement and American success. Older New Englanders may remember when the mills still hummed…younger folks need to learn. Both groups will be fascinated.”
Bill Lewis, Northshire Bookstore

“An inspiring biography.”
—Alan Caruba, Charter Member, National Book Critics Circle

“A riveting account of the Mill River Flood and its aftermath.”
—Daily Hampshire Gazette

“A significant piece of historical research.”
—Penni Martorell, Curator, Wistariahurst Museum and Holyoke City Historian

“Imagine that you’ve built an amazing business that employed a good many people in your community. Now imagine seeing your lifework and the town with your namesake washed away in the blink of an eye by a calamitous flood. What would you do? Give it up? Get angry? Start rebuilding your life? If you want to learn how one historical figure triumphed in the midst of that very situation, read Sarah Kilborne’s inspring new book, American Phoenix…”
Rob White, entrepreneur and author of “A Second Chance at Success”