AFSCME's Philadelphia Story provides the most comprehensive account of the early years of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which is one of the nation’s largest and most politically powerful unions in the AFL-CIO. Author Francis Ryan details the emergence of the Quaker City's interracial union, charting its beginnings in the political patronage system of one of the nation's most notorious political machines to the first decade of the twenty-first century. Ryan provides new insight into the working class origins of African American political power in the late twentieth century as well as a thorough overview of the role the municipal state played in the urban economy of one of the nation's largest cities.
Ryan describes the work processes and how they changed, and uses workers' testimonies to ground the detailed accounts of issues and negotiations. Beginning in the 1920s and ending in the 2000s, Ryan's study offers a long-term analysis of the growth of a single union in a major American city.
A riveting narrative of the price of politics, money, and ambition, and an inspirational account of how ordinary people can prevail over powerful interests, Air Wars tells how a grassroots movement of concerned citizens at WQED in Pittsburgh was able to overcome enormous institutional influence in their quest for public accountability.
These citizens believed strongly in public television's unique mission to serve the diverse social and cultural needs of local communities. When their own station neglected this mission in the search for national prestige and bigger revenues, they felt profoundly betrayed.
Jerold Starr exposes the political and commercial pressures that made strange bedfellows of the top officials of public broadcasting, the Democratic Party establishment, Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition, home-shopping and "infomall" king Lowell "Bud" Paxson, and billionaire right-wing publisher/philanthropist Richard Mellon Scaife.
What began as a bitterly contested local struggle that disturbed the serenity of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood later became front-page national news with revelations of presidential candidate John McCain's influence-peddling scandal on behalf of media mogul Paxson. This was followed by congressional resolutions attacking the FCC's authority to regulate noncommercial educational broadcast licenses. The "Pittsburgh case" promises to be in the news for some time to come.
Far beyond Pittsburgh, Starr looks at how the reform movement has spread to major cities like Chicago, Phoenix, Jacksonville, and San Francisco, where citizen activists have successfully challenged public stations to be more community responsive.
Finally, he outlines an innovative plan for restructuring the public broadcasting service as an independently funded public trust. Joining this vision with a practical strategy, Starr describes the formation of Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting, a national membership organization with a grassroots approach to putting the public back into public broadcasting.
An Important Book in America’s Early Encounter with the Arab World
“A pungent satire on American affairs.” —Samuel Eliot Morison
In 1787, while American sailors languished in a Barbary prison, delegates debated the Constitution in Philadelphia. Despite America’s desire to respond to the crisis, without a central government, the new republic had no means to create a naval force. Enter an anonymously published book, The Algerine Spy in Pennsylvania: or, Letters Written by a Native of Algiers on the Affairs of the United States in America, which began circulating among the delegates. Consisting of a series of letters ostensibly written by an Algerian agent “Mehmet” back to his leader, the spy predicted that the former colonies would never be able to resolve their differences and be “ruined by disunion.” The book created a sensation and it helped tip the balance for those in favor of adopting the new Constitution. Following the Constitution’s final ratification in 1789, the United States created a navy and began asserting its power overseas. With its commentary about men and women, business and pleasure, and historical and religious comparisons between nations, The Algerine Spy in Pennsylvania provides both a contemporary snapshot of early American life and the political ideas of the period. Never before reprinted, and recently rated one of the five best works in the history of America’s encounter with the Arab world, this new edition is edited by historian Timothy Marr, who reconsiders the importance of this early work in the political and literary history of the United States.
Allegheny City, known today as Pittsburgh’s North Side, was the third-largest city in Pennsylvania when it was controversially annexed by the City of Pittsburgh in 1907. Founded in 1787 as a reserve land tract for Revolutionary War veterans in compensation for their service, it quickly evolved into a thriving urban center with its own character, industry, and accomplished residents. Among those to inhabit the area, which came to be known affectionately as “The Ward,” were Andrew Carnegie, Mary Cassatt, Gertrude Stein, Stephen Foster, and Martha Graham. Once a station along the underground railroad, home to the first wire suspension bridge, and host to the first World Series, the North Side is now the site of Heinz Field, PNC Park, the Andy Warhol Museum, the National Aviary, and world headquarters for corporations such as Alcoa and the H. J. Heinz Company.
Dan Rooney, longtime North Side resident, joins local historian Carol Peterson in creating this highly engaging history of the cultural, industrial, and architectural achievements of Allegheny City from its humble beginnings until the present day. The authors cover the history of the city from its origins as a simple colonial outpost and agricultural center to its rapid emergence alongside Pittsburgh as one of the most important industrial cities in the world and an engine of the American economy. They explore the life of its people in this journey as they experienced war and peace, economic boom and bust, great poverty and wealth—the challenges and opportunities that fused them into a strong and durable community, ready for whatever the future holds. Supplemented by historic and contemporary photos, the authors take the reader on a fascinating and often surprising street-level tour of this colorful, vibrant, and proud place.
When Hahnemann Medical College was founded in Philadelphia in 1848, it was the only institution in the world to offer an M. D. degree in homeopathy, a therapeutic and intellectual alternative to orthodox medicine. This institutional history situates Hahnemann in the broader context of American social changes and chronicles its continual remaking in response to the rise of corporate medicine and constant changes in the Philadelphia community. In the nineteenth century, Hahnemann provided a distinctive and respected identity for its faculty, students, and supporters. In the early twentieth century, it accepted students denied admission elsewhere, especially Jewish and Italian students. It taught a flexible homeopathy that facilitated curricular changes remarkably similar to those at the best contemporary orthodox schools, including selective assimilation of the new experimental sciences, laboratory training, experience in the school's own teaching hospital, and a lengthened course of medical study. Hahnemann is no longer homeopathic, although it remained loyal to its alternative heritage long after the 1910 Flexner Report attempted to eliminate alternative medical education in America. Like many other American medical schools, Hahnemann has had its share of problems, financial and otherwise. The civil rights and radical student movements of the 1960s and 70s, however, pushed the College into a more politically conscious view of itself as a health care provider to the inner city and as a producer of health professionals. In 1993, the College merged with another Philadelphia medical school into a single health care and training institution called the Allegheny University of the HealthSciences. Although Hahnemann is now part of a new system of academic medicine, its institutional legacy endures, as it has in the past, by following alternative paths.
In early July 1899, an excavation team of paleontologists sponsored by Andrew Carnegie discovered the fossil remains in Wyoming of what was then the longest and largest dinosaur on record. Named after its benefactor, the Diplodocus carnegii—or Dippy, as it’s known today—was shipped to Pittsburgh and later mounted and unveiled at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in 1907. Carnegie’s pursuit of dinosaurs in the American West and the ensuing dinomania of the late nineteenth century coincided with his broader political ambitions to establish a lasting world peace and avoid further international conflict. An ardent philanthropist and patriot, Carnegie gifted his first plaster cast of Dippy to the British Museum at the behest of King Edward VII in 1902, an impulsive diplomatic gesture that would result in the donation of at least seven reproductions to museums across Europe and Latin America over the next decade, in England, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Russia, Argentina, and Spain. In this largely untold history, Ilja Nieuwland explores the influence of Andrew Carnegie’s prized skeleton on European culture through the dissemination, reception, and agency of his plaster casts, revealing much about the social, political, cultural, and scientific context of the early twentieth century.
Dissecting twenty years of educational politics in our nation’s largest cities, American School Reform offers one of the clearest assessments of school reform as it has played out in our recent history. Joseph P. McDonald and his colleagues evaluate the half-billion-dollar Annenberg Challenge—launched in 1994—alongside other large-scale reform efforts that have taken place in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. They look deeply at what school reform really is, how it works, how it fails, and what differences it can make nonetheless.
McDonald and his colleagues lay out several interrelated ideas in what they call a theory of action space. Frequently education policy gets so ambitious that implementing it becomes a near impossibility. Action space, however, is what takes shape when talented educators, leaders, and reformers guide the social capital of civic leaders and the financial capital of governments, foundations, corporations, and other backers toward true results. Exploring these extraordinary collaborations through their lifespans and their influences on future efforts, the authors provide political hope—that reform efforts can work, and that our schools can be made better.
• Choice 1988 Outstanding Academic Book
• Named one of the Best Business Books of 1988 by USA Today
A veteran reporter of American labor analyzes the spectacular and tragic collapse of the steel industry in the 1980s. John Hoerr’s account of these events stretches from the industrywide barganing failures of 1982 to the crippling work stoppage at USX (U.S. Steel) in 1986-87. He interviewed scores of steelworkers, company managers at all levels, and union officials, and was present at many of the crucial events he describes. Using historical flashbacks to the origins of the steel industry, particularly in the Monongahela Valley of southwestern Pennsylvania, he shows how an obsolete and adversarial relationship between management and labor made it impossible for the industry to adapt to shattering changes in the global economy.
When the Museum of the American Revolution acquired the land at Third and Chestnut streets in Olde City, Philadelphia, it came with the condition that an archaeological investigation be conducted. The excavation that began in the summer of 2014 yielded treasures in the trash: unearthed privy pits provided remarkable finds from a mid-eighteenth-century tavern to relics from a button factory dating to the early twentieth century. These artifacts are described and analyzed by urban archaeologist Rebecca Yamin in Archaeology at the Site of the Museum of the American Revolution.
Yamin, lead archaeologist on the dig, catalogues items—including earthenware plates and jugs, wig curlers, clay pipes, and liquor bottles—to tell the stories of their owners and their roles in Philadelphia history. As she uncovers the history of the people as well as their houses, taverns, and buildings that were once on the site, she explains that by looking at these remains, we see the story of the growth of Philadelphia from its colonial beginnings to the Second World War.
Archaeology at the Site of the Museum of the American Revolution is a perfect keepsake for armchair archaeologists, introductory students, and history buffs.
Most histories of American architecture after H. H. Richardson have emphasized the work of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright in the Middle West. By examining instead the legacy of three highly successful architects who were in practice simultaneously in New England and Western Pennsylvania from 1886 into the 1920s, Margaret Henderson Floyd underscores the architectural significance of another part of the nation.
Floyd critically' assesses the careers, works, and patronage of Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, Frank Ellis Alden, and Alfred Branch Harlow. Longfellow and Alden were senior draftsmen in H. H. Richardson's office, and Harlow worked with McKim, Mead & White in New York, Newport, and Boston. After Richardson's death, the three set up their own practice with offices in Boston and Pittsburgh, and these offices eventually became two separate practices. Over the years, their commissions included scores of city and country residences for the elite of both regions as well as major institutional and business buildings such as those at Harvard and Radcliffe, the Cambridge City Hall, and Pittsburgh's Duquesne Club and Carnegie Institute.
Placing these architects in a broader context of American architectural and landscape history, Floyd uncovers a strong cultural affinity between turn-of-the-century Boston and Pittsburgh. She also reveals an unsuspected link between the path of modernism from Richardson to Wright and the evolution of anti-modern imagery manifested in regionalism. Floyd thus combines her analysis of the work of Longfellow, Alden, and Harlow with a critique of mid-twentieth-century historiography to expose connections between New England regionalism, the arts and crafts movement, and such innovators as Frank Lloyd Wright and Buckminster Fuller.
Given the news media’s focus on national issues and debates, voters might be expected to make decisions about state and local candidates based on their views of the national parties and presidential candidates. However, nationalization as a concept, and the process by which politics becomes nationalized, are not fully understood. Are All Politics Nationalized? addresses this knowledge gap by looking at the behavior of candidates and the factors that influence voters’ electoral choices.
The editors and contributors examine the 2020 elections in six Pennsylvania districts to explore the level of nationalization in campaigns for Congress and state legislature. They also question if politicians are encouraging nationalized behavior and straight ticket voting—especially with down-ballot races.
Are All Politics Nationalized? concludes that issues specific to particular districts—such as fracking and local union politics—still matter, and candidates are eager to connect with voters by highlighting their ties to the local community. National politics do trickle down to local races, but races up and down the ballot are still heavily localized.
The Art of Defiance is an ethnographic portrait of how graffiti writers see their city and, in turn, how their city sees them. It explores how becoming a graffiti writer helps disenfranchised urban citizens negotiate their cultural identities, build their social capital, and gain a voice within an urban environment that would prefer they remain quiet, passive, and anonymous.
In order to both demystify and complicate our understanding of the practice of graffiti writing, this book pushes past the narrative that links the origins of graffiti to criminal gangs and instead offers a detailed portrait of graffiti as a rich urban culture with its own rules and practices. To do so, it examines the cultural history of graffiti in Philadelphia from the early 1970s onward and explores what it is like to be a graffiti writer in the city today. Ultimately, Tyson Mitman aims to humanize graffiti writers and to show that what they do is not merely destructive or puerile, but, rather, adds something important to the urban experience that is a conscious and deliberate act on the part of its practitioners.