- Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:49 pm
I think you may have misunderstood Stilgoe's thesis here, Nicholas. According to the passage, Stilgoe has claimed that after 1880, distrust of the railroads went away, and in lines 34-39 we see that part of his evidence is the work of a number of people who were "devotees of the railroad." In other words, his evidence is based on people that really liked the railroads, who were devoted to it, and those are some very positive vibes. If the writings of Norris, O'Neill, and Adams would have helped his argument, then those writers must have also liked the railroads (or at least, liked them more than James, Lewis, and Fitzgerald did).
In short, and to simplify a bit, Stilgoe says that after 1880, people liked the railroads. The author says those writers would have helped him make that case. Therefore, they must have liked them.
Don't confuse Stilgoe here with what the author is arguing! The author of the passage is saying that Stilgoe failed to make a good case, but it is Stilgoe's argument that we should be reviewing in order to answer this question.
Adam M. Tyson
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