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Steel: Worker Diary of a Furnace Worker
"In the summer of 1919, a few weeks before the Great Steel Strike, I bought some second-hand clothes and went to work on an open-hearth furnace near Pittsburgh to learn the steel business. I was a graduate of Yale, and a few weeks before had resigned a commission as first-lieutenant in the regular army...In these chapters I have put down what I saw, felt, and thought as a steel-worker in 1919." --from the Foreward
Pittsburgh: The Story of an American City
Pittsburgh: The Story of an American City follows Pittsburgh from its frontier beginnings through its evolution into the most heavily industrialized city in the world, to the city's renewal of itself as "America's Most Livable City." This beautiful volume though, is much more than the story of a single city; it is the history of the United States. This book is based on years of research and includes contributions by such noted American historians as Henry Steele Commager and Oscar Handlin. More than 1100 pictures recreate the city's dramatic 200+year history. Featured are photographs by W. Eugene Smith, Margaret Bourke-White, Norman W. Schumm, Lorant himself and others. A chronology of events from 1717 offers historical snapshots in the day to day life of the archetypical American city.
Remaking the Rust Belt: The Postindustrial Transformation of North America
Cities in the North Atlantic coal and steel belt embodied industrial power in the early twentieth century, but by the 1970s, their economic and political might had been significantly diminished by newly industrializing regions in the Global South. This was not simply a North American phenomenon—the precipitous decline of mature steel centers like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Hamilton, Ontario, was a bellwether for similar cities around the world.
Contemporary narratives of the decline of basic industry on both sides of the Atlantic make the postindustrial transformation of old manufacturing centers seem inevitable, the product of natural business cycles and neutral market forces. In Remaking the Rust Belt, Tracy Neumann tells a different story, one in which local political and business elites, drawing on a limited set of internationally circulating redevelopment models, pursued postindustrial urban visions. They hired the same consulting firms; shared ideas about urban revitalization on study tours, at conferences, and in the pages of professional journals; and began to plan cities oriented around services rather than manufacturing—all well in advance of the economic malaise of the 1970s.
While postindustrialism remade cities, it came with high costs. In following this strategy, public officials sacrificed the well-being of large portions of their populations. Remaking the Rust Belt recounts how local leaders throughout the Rust Belt created the jobs, services, leisure activities, and cultural institutions that they believed would attract younger, educated, middle-class professionals. In the process, they abandoned social democratic goals and widened and deepened economic inequality among urban residents.
The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century
The real Henry Ford was a tangle of contradictions. He set off the consumer revolution by producing a car affordable to the masses, all the while lamenting the moral toll exacted by consumerism. He believed in giving his workers a living wage, though he was entirely opposed to union labor. He had a warm and loving relationship with his wife, but sired a son with another woman. A rabid anti-Semite, he nonetheless embraced African American workers in the era of Jim Crow.
Uncovering the man behind the myth, situating his achievements and their attendant controversies firmly within the context of early 20th century America, Watts has given us a comprehensive, illuminating, and fascinating biography of one of America’s first mass-culture celebrities.
Cleveland: A Concise History
This highly successful short history of Cleveland has now been revised and brought up to date through 1996, the bicentennial year, including two new chapters, and new illustrations and charts.
Driving Detroit: The Quest for Respect in the Motor City
For most of the twentieth century, Detroit was a symbol of American industrial might, a place of entrepreneurial and technical ingenuity where the latest consumer inventions were made available to everyone through the genius of mass production. Today, Detroit is better known for its dwindling population, moribund automobile industry, and alarmingly high murder rate. In Driving Detroit, author George Galster, a fifth-generation Detroiter and internationally known urbanist, sets out to understand how the city has come to represent both the best and worst of what cities can be, all within the span of a half century. Galster invites the reader to travel with him along the streets and into the soul of this place to grasp fully what drives the Motor City.
With a scholar's rigor and a local's perspective, Galster uncovers why metropolitan Detroit's cultural, commercial, and built landscape has been so radically transformed. He shows how geography, local government structure, and social forces created a housing development system that produced sprawl at the fringe and abandonment at the core. Galster argues that this system, in tandem with the region's automotive economic base, has chronically frustrated the population's quest for basic physical, social, and psychological resources. These frustrations, in turn, generated numerous adaptations—distrust, scapegoating, identity politics, segregation, unionization, and jurisdictional fragmentation—that collectively leave Detroit in an uncompetitive and unsustainable position.
Partly a self-portrait, in which Detroiters paint their own stories through songs, poems, and oral histories, Driving Detroit offers an intimate, insightful, and perhaps controversial explanation for the stunning contrasts—poverty and plenty, decay and splendor, despair and resilience—that characterize the once mighty city.