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.
The Blues Walked In: A Novel
Kathleen George University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3557.E487B58 2018 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
In 1936, life on the road means sleeping on the bus or in hotels for blacks only. After finishing her tour with Nobel Sissel’s orchestra, nineteen-year-old Lena Horne is walking the last few blocks to her father’s hotel in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. She stops at a lemonade stand and meets a Lebanese American girl, Marie David. Marie loves movies and adores Lena, and their chance meeting sparks a relationship that will intertwine their lives forever. Lena also meets Josiah Conner, a charismatic teenager who helps out at her father Teddy’s hotel. Josiah often skips school, dreams of being a Hollywood director, and has a crush on Lena. Although the three are linked by a determination to be somebody, issues of race, class, family, and education threaten to disrupt their lives and the bonds between them.
Lena’s father wants her to settle down and give up show business, but she’s entranced by the music and culture of the Hill. It’s a mecca for jazz singers and musicians, and nightspots like the Crawford Grill attract crowds of blacks and whites. Lena table-hops with local jazzmen as her father chaperones her through the clubs where she‘ll later perform. Singing makes her feel alive, and to her father’s dismay, reviewers can’t get enough of her. Duke Ellington adores her, Billy Strayhorn can’t wait to meet her, and she becomes “all the rage” in clubs and Hollywood for her beauty and almost-whiteness. Her signature version of “Stormy Weather” makes her a legend. But after sitting around for years at MGM as the studio heads try to figure out what to do with her, she isn’t quite sure what she’s worth.
Marie and Josiah follow Lena’s career in Hollywood and New York through movie magazines and the Pittsburgh Courier. Years pass until their lives are brought together again when Josiah is arrested for the murder of a white man. Marie and Lena decide they must get Josiah out of prison—whatever the personal cost.
By the end of the nineteenth century, Pittsburgh emerged as a major manufacturing center in the United States. Its rise as a leading producer of steel, glass, and coal was fueled by machine technology and mass immigration, developments that fundamentally changed the industrial workplace. Because Pittsburgh’s major industries were almost exclusively male and renowned for their physical demands, the male working body came to symbolize multiple often contradictory narratives about strength and vulnerability, mastery and exploitation. In Bodies of Work, Edward Slavishak explores how Pittsburgh and the working body were symbolically linked in civic celebrations, the research of social scientists, the criticisms of labor reformers, advertisements, and workers’ self-representations. Combining labor and cultural history with visual culture studies, he chronicles a heated contest to define Pittsburgh’s essential character at the turn of the twentieth century, and he describes how that contest was conducted largely through the production of competing images.
Slavishak focuses on the workers whose bodies came to epitomize Pittsburgh, the men engaged in the arduous physical labor demanded by the city’s metals, glass, and coal industries. At the same time, he emphasizes how conceptions of Pittsburgh as quintessentially male limited representations of women in the industrial workplace. The threat of injury or violence loomed large for industrial workers at the turn of the twentieth century, and it recurs throughout Bodies of Work: in the marketing of artificial limbs, statistical assessments of the physical toll of industrial capitalism, clashes between labor and management, the introduction of workplace safety procedures, and the development of a statewide workmen’s compensation system.
Catina’s Haircut: A Novel in Stories spans four generations of a peasant family in the brutal poverty of post-Unification southern Italy and in an immigrant’s United States. The women in these tales dare to cross boundaries by discovering magical leaps inherent in the landscape, in themselves, and in the stories they tell and retell of family tragedy at a time of political unrest. Through an oral tradition embedded in the stone of memory and the flow of its reinvention, their passionate tale of resistance and transformation courses forward into new generations in a new world.
A woman threatens to join the land reform struggle in her Calabrian hill town, against her husband’s will, during a call for revolution in 1919. A brother and sister turn to the village sorceress in Fascist Italy to bring rain to their father’s drought-stricken farm. In Pittsburgh, new immigrants witness a miraculous rescue during the Great Flood of 1936. A young girl courageously dives into the Allegheny River to save her grandfather’s only memento of the old country. With only broken English to guide her, a widow hops a bus in search of live chickens to cook for Easter dinner in her husband’s memory. An aging woman in the title story is on a quest to cut the ankle-length hair as hard as the rocky soil of Calabria in a drought. A lonely woman who survived World War II bombings in her close-knit village, struggles to find community as a recent immigrant. A daughter visits her mother’s hill town to try and fulfill a wish for her to see the Fata Morgana. These haunting images permeate Corso’s linked stories of loss, hope, struggle, and freedom.
An official selection of The Sons of Italy® Book Club
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Association
Chatham Village, located in the heart of Pittsburgh, is an urban oasis that combines Georgian colonial revival architecture with generous greenspaces, recreation facilities, surrounding woodlands, and many other elements that make living there a unique experience. Founded in 1932, it has gained international recognition as an outstanding example of the American Garden City planning movement and was named a National Historic Landmark in 2005.
Chatham Village was the brainchild of Charles F. Lewis, then director of the Buhl Foundation, a Pittsburgh-based charitable trust. Lewis sought an alternative to the substandard housing that plagued low-income families in the city. He hired the New York–based team of Clarence S. Stein and Henry Wright, followers of Ebenezer Howard’s utopian Garden City movement, which sought to combine the best of urban and suburban living environments by connecting individuals to each other and to nature.
Angelique Bamberg provides the first book-length study of Chatham Village, in which she establishes its historical significance to urban planning and reveals the complex development process, social significance, and breakthrough construction and landscaping techniques that shaped this idyllic community. She also relates the design of Chatham Village to the work of other pioneers in urban planning, including Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., landscape architect John Nolen, and the Regional Planning Association of America, and considers the different ways that Chatham Village and the later New Urbanist movement address a common set of issues. Above all, Bamberg finds that Chatham Village’s continued viability and vibrance confirms its distinction as a model for planned housing and urban-based community living.
Chuck Noll: His Life's Work
Michael MacCambridge University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016 Library of Congress GV939.N65M33 2016 | Dewey Decimal 796.332092
Chuck Noll won four Super Bowls and presided over one of the greatest football dynasties in history, the Pittsburgh Steelers of the ‘70s. Later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his achievements as a competitor and a coach are the stuff of legend. But Noll always remained an intensely private and introspective man, never revealing much of himself as a person or as a coach, not even to the players and fans who revered him.
Chuck Noll did not need a dramatic public profile to be the catalyst for one of the greatest transformations in sports history. In the nearly four decades before he was hired, the Pittsburgh Steelers were the least successful team in professional football, never winning so much as a division title. After Noll’s arrival, his quiet but steely leadership quickly remolded the team into the most accomplished in the history of professional football. And what he built endured well beyond his time with the Steelers – who have remained one of America’s great NFL teams, accumulating a total of six Super Bowls, eight AFC championships, and dozens of division titles and playoff berths.
In this penetrating biography, based on deep research and hundreds of interviews, Michael MacCambridge takes the measure of the man, painting an intimate portrait of one of the most important figures in American football history. He traces Noll’s journey from a Depression-era childhood in Cleveland, where he first played the game in a fully integrated neighborhood league led by an African-American coach and then seriously pursued the sport through high school and college. Eventually, Noll played both defensive and offensive positions professionally for the Browns, before discovering that his true calling was coaching. MacCambridge reveals that Noll secretly struggled with and overcame epilepsy to build the career that earned him his place as “the Emperor” of Pittsburgh during the Steelers’ dynastic run in the 1970s, while in his final years, he battled Alzheimer’s in the shelter of his caring and protective family.
Noll’s impact went well beyond one football team. When he arrived, the city of steel was facing a deep crisis, as the dramatic decline of Pittsburgh’s lifeblood industry traumatized an entire generation. “Losing,” Noll said on his first day on the job, “has nothing to do with geography.” Through his calm, confident leadership of the Steelers and the success they achieved, the people of Pittsburgh came to believe that winning was possible, and their recovery of confidence owed a lot to the Steeler’s new coach. The famous urban renaissance that followed can only be understood by grasping what Noll and his team meant to the people of the city. The man Pittsburghers could never fully know helped them see themselves better. Chuck Noll: His Life’s Work tells the story of a private man in a very public job. It explores the family ties that built his character, the challenges that defined his course, and the love story that shaped his life. By understanding the man himself, we can at last clearly see Noll’s profound influence on the city, players, coaches, and game he loved. They are all, in a real sense, heirs to the football team Chuck Noll built.
An overview of scholarly research, both published and previously unpublished, on the history of a city that has often served as a case study for measuring social change. It synthesizes the literature and assesses how that knowledge relates to our broader understanding of the processes of urbanization and urbanism.
This book is especially useful for undergraduate and graduate courses on environmental politics and policy making, or as a supplement for courses on public policy making generally.
Every city has an environmental story, perhaps none so dramatic as Pittsburgh's. Founded in a river valley blessed with enormous resources-three strong waterways, abundant forests, rich seams of coal-the city experienced a century of exploitation and industrialization that degraded and obscured the natural environment to a horrific degree. Pittsburgh came to be known as “the Smoky City,” or, as James Parton famously declared in 1866, “hell with the lid taken off.”
Then came the storied Renaissance in the years following World War II, when the city's public and private elites, abetted by technological advances, came together to improve the air and renew the built environment. Equally dramatic was the sweeping deindustrialization of Pittsburgh in the 1980s, when the collapse of the steel industry brought down the smokestacks, leaving vast tracks of brownfields and riverfront. Today Pittsburgh faces unprecedented opportunities to reverse the environmental degradation of its history.
In Devastation and Renewal, scholars of the urban environment post questions that both complicate and enrich this story. Working from deep archival research, they ask not only what happened to Pittsburgh's environment, but why. What forces-economic, political, and cultural-were at work? In exploring the disturbing history of pollution in Pittsburgh, they consider not only the sooty skies, but also the poisoned rivers and creeks, the mined hills, and scarred land. Who profited and who paid for such “progress”? How did the environment Pittsburghers live in come to be, and how it can be managed for the future?
In a provocative concluding essay, Samuel P. Hays explores Pittsburgh's “environmental culture,” the attitudes and institutions that interpret a city's story and work to create change. Comparing Pittsburgh to other cities and regions, he exposes exaggerations of Pittsburgh's environmental achievement and challenges the community to make real progress for the future.
A landmark contribution to the emerging field of urban environmental history, Devastation and Renewal will be important to all students of cities, of cultures, and of the natural world.
The death of David Leo Lawrence in 1966 ended a fifty-year career of major influence in American politics. In a front-page obituary, the New York Times noted that Lawrence, the longtime mayor of Pittsburgh, governor of Pennsylvania, and power in Democratic national politics, disliked being called Boss. But, the Times noted, “he was one anyway.”
Certainly Lawrence was a consumate politician. Born in a poor, working-class neighborhood, in the present-day Golden Triange of Pittsburgh, he was from boyhood an astute student of politics and a devoted Democrat. Paying minute attention to every detail at the ward and precinct level, he revived the moribund Democratic party of Pittsburgh and fashioned a machine that upset the long-entrenched Republican organization in 1932.
When “Davy” Lawrence, as he was affectionately known, won the gubernatorial election in 1958, he became the first Roman Catholic governor of Pennsylvania and the oldest. But he achieved his greatest public recognition as mayor of Pittsburgh. Taking office in 1945, at the close of World War II, this stalwart Democrat formed an alliance with the predominantly Republican business community to bring about the much acclaimed Pittsburgh Renaissance, transforming the downtown business district and persuading many large corporations to retain their national headquarters in Pittsburgh. In 1958 the editors of Fortune magazine name Pittsburgh as one of the eight best administered cities in America.
Don’t Call Me Boss examines the lengthy career of this remarkable politician. Using over one hundred interviews, as well as extensive archival material, Michael Weber demonstrates how Lawrence was able to balance his intense political drive and devotion to the Democratic party with the larger needs of his city and state. Although his administration was not free of controversy, as indicated by the city’s police and free work scandals. Lawrence showed that it was possible to make the transition from nineteenth-century political boss to modern municipal manager. He was one of the few politicians of the century to do so. When the undisputed bosses of other American cities - the Curleys, Pendergasts, and Hagues - were out of power and disgraced, Lawrence was elected governor of Pennsylvania.
More than twenty years after his death, David L. Lawrence and his success in rebuilding the city of Pittsburgh continue to serve as an example of effective urban leadership.
Originally published to commemorate the bicentennial of Pittsburgh's founding, Drums in the Forest is reissued to mark the 250th anniversary of the French and Indian War. It comprises two parts: the first, by Alfred Proctor James, provides the historical background leading up to the capture of Fort Duquesne by the British; the second, by Charles Morse Stotz, is a description of the five forts built at the forks of the Ohio between 1754 and 1815.
Guns at the Forks
Walter O'Meara University of Pittsburgh Press, 1965 Library of Congress F159.P68F656 1979 | Dewey Decimal 973.26
Guns at the Forks is a special reissue commemorating the 250th anniversary of the French and Indian War. In a spirited, intelligent, and informative history, O’Meara tells the story of five successive forts, particularly Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt, and the dramatic part they played in the war between 1750 and 1760. He describes Washington’s capitulation at Fort Necessity, Braddock’s defeat at the Monongahela, and Forbes’s successful campaign to retake Fort Duquesne. Although most of the action in the book takes place at the strategically important forks of the Ohio, where present-day Pittsburgh stands, O’Meara’s narrative relates the two forts to the larger story of the French and Indian War and elucidates their roles in sparking a global conflict that altered the course of world events and decided the fate of empires.
John Hoerr tells the story of three men—his uncle, Congressman Harry Davenport, union leader Tom Quinn, and Father Charles Owen Rice—whose lives became intertwined during the anti-Communist witch hunts of the McCarthy Era. The story helps illuminate one of the more repressive periods in American history, when thousands of Americans guilty only of enlisting in leftist causes were caught up in dragnets cast by overzealous Communist hunters on behalf of the House Un-American Activities Committee and other bodies. Much has been written about well-known cultural figures (the Hollywood Ten), and prominent writers (Arthur Miller and Lillian Hellman) who contended with HUAC. Hoerr tells of mostly ordinary Americans who were largely unknown at the time, but whose stories are nonetheless remarkable.
Writing from personal experience with the title characters, as well as archival research, Hoerr recreates the events of the 1949 HUAC hearings, where rigged testimony by a few workers cast suspicion on their union brothers. The results would echo through the years, causing people to lose jobs, marriages, and self-respect. Hoerr traces the paths followed by Harry, Tom, and Father Rice and relates their individual experiences to the great conflict between anti-Communist and Communist forces in the American labor movement, leading to the eventual demise of the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations).
Lives of Their Own depicts the strikingly different lives of black, Italian, and Polish immigrants in Pittsburgh. Within a comparative framework, the book focuses on the migration process itself, job procurement, and occupational mobility, family structure, home-ownership, and neighborhood institutions. By blending oral histories with quantitative data, the authors have created a convincing multilayered portrait of working-class life in one of our great industrial cities.
"A model study, one of two or three genuinely indispensable books
on that momentous movement historians know as the Great Migration. Peter
Gottlieb shatters the received portrait of southern migrants as bewildered,
premodern folk, 'utterly unprepared' for the complexities of urban life.
African Americans in his account emerge as complex, creative agents, exploiting
old solidarities and building new ones, transforming the urban landscape
even as it transformed them." -- James Campbell, Northwestern University
"Engagingly written and well organized. . . . A major addition to
the fields of Afro-American, urban, and working-class history." --
Howard N. Rabinowitz, Georgia Historical Quarterly
"Gottlieb uses oral histories, corporate records, and primary and
secondary scholarship to present a useful picture of an important part
of the Great Migration that followed World War I." -- George Lipsitz, Choice
"Sensitive and yet also incisive. . . . clear and often compelling.
An outstanding study." -- James R. Barrett, Journal of American Ethnic History Publication of this work was supported in part by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
In studying the effect of New Deal on urban political machines, Bruce M. Stave challenges the traditional view of declining bossism in America from the 1930s through the 1950s. Using Pittsburgh as his case study, he demonstrates how political power was transferred from a once-invincible Republican machine to the Democratic Party led by David L. Lawrence. Stave traces the consolidation of patronage control and grassroots voting support with a special emphasis on the interplay between politics and federal work relief during the depression decade.
How did tourism gain a central role in the postwar American Rustbelt city? And how did tourism development reshape the meaning and function of these cities? These are the questions at the heart of Aaron Cowan’s groundbreaking book, A Nice Place to Visit.
Cowan provides an insightful, comparative look at the historical development of Cincinnati, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore in the post–World War II period to show how urban tourism provided a potential solution to the economic woes of deindustrialization. A Nice Place to Visit chronicles the visions of urban leaders who planned hotels, convention centers, stadiums, and festival marketplaces to remake these cities as tourist destinations. Cowan also addresses the ever-present tensions between tourist development and the needs and demands of residents in urban communities.
A Nice Place to Visit charts how these Rustbelt cities adapted to urban decline and struggled to meet the challenge of becoming an appealing place to visit, as well as good and just communities in which to live.
Andrew Carnegie is remembered as one of the world’s great philanthropists. As a boy, he witnessed the benevolence of a businessman who lent his personal book collection to laborer’s apprentices. That early experience inspired Carnegie to create the “Free to the People” Carnegie Library in 1895 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1896, he founded the Carnegie Institute, which included a music hall, art museum, and science museum. Carnegie deeply believed that education and culture could lift up the common man and should not be the sole province of the wealthy. Today, his Pittsburgh cultural institution encompasses a library, music hall, natural history museum, art museum, science center, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Carnegie International art exhibition.
In Palace of Culture, Robert J. Gangewere presents the first history of a cultural conglomeration that has served millions of people since its inception and inspired the likes of August Wilson, Andy Warhol, and David McCullough. In this fascinating account, Gangewere details the political turmoil, budgetary constraints, and cultural tides that have influenced the caretakers and the collections along the way. He profiles the many benefactors, trustees, directors, and administrators who have stewarded the collections through the years. Gangewere provides individual histories of the library, music hall, museums, and science center, and describes the importance of each as an educational and research facility.
Moreover, Palace of Culture documents the importance of cultural institutions to the citizens of large metropolitan areas. The Carnegie Library and Institute have inspired the creation of similar organizations in the United States and serve as models for museum systems throughout the world.
Pittsburgh has a rich history of social consciousness in calls for justice and equity. Today, the movement for more sustainable practices is rising in Pittsburgh. Against a backdrop of Marcellus shale gas development, initiatives emerge for a sustainable and resilient response to the climate change and pollution challenges of the twenty-first century. People, institutions, communities and corporations in Pittsburgh are leading the way to a more sustainable future.
Examining the experience of a single city, with all of its social and political complexities and long industrial history, allows a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities inherent in adapting to a changing world. Choices for more sustainable pathways for the future include transforming the energy system, restoring infertile ground, and preventing pollution through green chemistry production. Throughout the book, case studies responding to ethical challenges give specific examples of successful ways forward. Inspired by Rachel Carson’s voice of precaution in protecting the Earth, this is a book about empowerment and hope.
Pittsburgh: An Urban Portrait
Franklin Toker University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989 Library of Congress F159.P63T65 1994 | Dewey Decimal 917.48860443
From its founding in 1758, Pittsburgh has experienced several epic transformations. It began its existence as a fortress, on a site originally selected by George Washington. A hundred years later, and well into our own time, no other American city was as intensively industrialized, only to be later consigned to “rustbelt” status. Remade as a thriving twenty-first-century city and an international center for science, medicine, biotechnology, and financial services, Pittsburgh is now routinely acclaimed as one of the most promising and livable of America's cities. Franklin Toker shows us why.
Toker highlights this remarkable story of urban reinvention by focusing on what makes Pittsburgh so resilient and appealing - its strong neighborhoods and their surprisingly rich architectural history. The many unique, lively urban communities that make up Pittsburgh are a treasure trove of every imaginable style of structure, from Victorian to Bauhaus, Gothic to Art Deco, and from Industrial to Green. These ordinary homes expressed the aspirations of people who came from around the world to settle in Pittsburgh, while they built the city itself into an economic powerhouse. With the wealth generated by this everyday work, local captains of industry could build their own monumental additions to Pittsburgh's urban landscape, including two of America's greatest buildings: H. H. Richardson's Allegheny Courthouse and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater.
With accessible prose, Toker examines Pittsburgh in its historical context (from Indian settlement to postmodern city), in its regional setting (from the playgrounds of the Laurel Highlands to the hard-working mill towns dotting the landscape), and from the street level (leading the reader on a personal tour through every neighborhood). Lavishly illustrated with photos and maps, Pittsburgh: A New Portrait reveals the true colors of a truly great American city.
Few American cities reflect the challenges and promise of a twenty-first-century economy better than Pittsburgh and its surrounding region. Once a titan of the industrial age, Pittsburgh flourished from the benefits of its waterways, central location, and natural resources-bituminous coal to fire steel furnaces; salt and sand for glass making; gas, oil, and just enough ore to spark an early iron industry. Today, like many cities located in the manufacturing triangle that stretches from Boston to Duluth to St. Louis, Pittsburgh has made the transition to a service-based economy.
Pittsburgh and the Appalachians presents a collection of eighteen essays that explore the advantages and disadvantages that Pittsburgh and its surrounding region face in the new global economy, from the perspectives of technology, natural resources, workforce, and geography. It offers an extensive examination of the processes and factors that have transformed much of industrial America during the past half-century, and shows how other cities can learn from the steps Pittsburgh has taken through redevelopment, green space acquisition, air and water quality improvement, cultural revival, and public-private partnerships to create a more livable, economically viable region for future populations.
From 1909-1914 the Pittsburgh Survey brought together statisticans, social workers, engineers, lawyers, physicians, economists, and city planners to study the effects of industrialization on the city of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Surveyed examines the accuracy and the impact of the influential Pittsburgh Survey, emphasizing its role in the social reform movement of the early twentieth century.
Originally published in 1937, [t]his standard history of Pittsburgh tells the city’s story from its violent days as an eighteenth-century outpost of empire to the onset of its great age of industrial expansion. With wonderful line illustrations by Ward Howe.
African Americans from Pittsburgh have a long and distinctive history of contributions to the cultural, political, and social evolution of the United States. From jazz legend Earl Fatha Hines to playwright August Wilson, from labor protests in the 1950s to the Black Power movement of the late 1960s, Pittsburgh has been a force for change in American race and class relations.
Race and Renaissance presents the first history of African American life in Pittsburgh after World War II. It examines the origins and significance of the second Great Migration, the persistence of Jim Crow into the postwar years, the second ghetto, the contemporary urban crisis, the civil rights and Black Power movements, and the Million Man and Million Woman marches, among other topics.
In recreating this period, Trotter and Day draw not only from newspaper articles and other primary and secondary sources, but also from oral histories. These include interviews with African Americans who lived in Pittsburgh during the postwar era, uncovering firsthand accounts of what life was truly like during this transformative epoch in urban history.
In these ways, Race and Renaissance illuminateshow African Americans arrived at their present moment in history. It also links movements for change to larger global issues: civil rights with the Vietnam War; affirmative action with the movement against South African apartheid. As such, the study draws on both sociology and urban studies to deepen our understanding of the lives of urban blacks.
During World War I, fear that a network of German spies was operating on American soil justified the rapid growth of federal intelligence agencies. When that threat proved illusory, these agencies, staffed heavily by corporate managers and anti-union private detectives, targeted antiwar and radical labor groups, particularly the Socialist party and the Industrial Workers of the World.
Seeing Reds, based largely on case files from the Bureau of Investigation, Military Intelligence Division, and Office of Naval Intelligence, describes this formative period of federal domestic spying in the Pittsburgh region. McCormick traces the activities of L. M. Wendell, a Bureau of Investigation “special employee” who infiltrated the IWW’s Pittsburgh recruiting branch and the inner circle of anarchist agitator and lawyer Jacob Margolis. Wendell and other Pittsbugh based agents spied on radical organizations from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Camp Lee, Virginia, intervened in the steel and coal strikes of 1919, and carried out the Palmer raids aimed at mass deportation of members of the Union of Russian Workers and the New Communist Party.
McCormick’s detailed history uses extensive research to add to our understanding of the security state, cold war ideology, labor and immigration history, and the rise of the authoritarian American Left, as well as the career paths of figures as diverse as J. Edgar Hoover and William Z. Foster.
The profound disruption of family relationships caused by industrialization found its most dramatic expression in the steel mills of Pittsburgh in the 1880s. The work day was twelve hours, and the work week was seven days - with every other Sunday for rest.
In this major work, S. J. Kleinberg focuses on the private side of industrialization, on how the mills structured the everyday existence of the women, men, and children who lived in their shadows. What did industrialization and urbanization really mean to the people who lived through the these processes? What solutions did they find to the problems of low wages, poor housing, inadequate sanitation, and high mortality rates?
Through imaginative use of census data, the records of municipal, charitable, and fraternal organizations, and the voices of workers themselves in local newspapers, Kleinberg builds a detailed picture of the working-class life cycle: marital relationships, the interaction between parents and children, the education and employment prospects of the young, and the lives if the elderly.
Singing the City is an eloquent tribute to a way of life largely disappearing in America, using Pittsburgh as a lens. Graham is not blind to the damage industry has done—both to people and to the environment, but she shows us that there is also a rich human story that has gone largely untold, one that reveals, in all its ambiguities, the place of the industrial landscape in the heart.
Singing the City is a celebration of a landscape that through most of its history has been unabashedly industrial. Convinced that industrial landscapes are too little understood and appreciated, Graham set out to investigate the city’s landscape, past and present, and to learn the lessons she sensed were there about living a good life. The result, told in both her voice and the distinctive voices of the people she meets, is a powerful contribution to the literature of place.
Graham begins by showing the city as an outgrowth of its geography and its geology—the factors that led to its becoming an industrial place. She describes the human investment in the area: the floods of immigrants who came to work in the mills in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, their struggles within the domains of Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick. She evokes the superhuman aura of making steel by taking the reader to still functioning mills and uncovers for us a richness of tradition in ethnic neighborhoods that survives to this day.
This appealing memoir introduces the family of Charles Hart Spencer and his wife Mary Acheson: seven children born between 1884 and 1895. It also introduces a large Victorian house in Shadyside (a Pittsburgh neighborhood) and a middle-class way of life at the turn of the century.
Mr. Spencer, who worked--not very happily--for Henry Clay Frick, was one of the growing number of middle-management employees in American industrial cities in the 1880s and 1890s. His income, which supported his family of nine, a cook, two regular nurses, and at times a wet nurse and her baby, guaranteed a comfortable life but not a luxurious one. In the words of the editors, the Spencers represent a class that "too often stands silent or stereotyped as we rush forward toward the greater glamour of the robber barons or their immigrant workers."
Through the eyes of Ethel Spencer, the third daughter, we are led with warmth and humor through the routine of everyday life in this household: school, play, church on Sundays, illness, family celebrations, and vacations. Ethel was an observant child, with little sentimentality, and she wrote her memoir in later life as a professor of English with a gift for clear prose and the instincts of an anthropologist. As the editors observe, her memoir is "a fascinating insight into one kind of urban life of three generations ago."
Roy Lubove's Twentieth-Century Pittsburgh is a pioneering analysis of elite driven, post-World War II urban renewal in a city once disdained as "hell with the lid off." The book continues to be invaluable to anyone interested in the fate of America's beleaguered metropolitan and industrial centers.
This volume traces the major decisions, events, programs, and personalities that transformed the city of Pittsburgh during its urban renewal project, which began in 1977. Roy Lubove demonstrates how the city showed united determination to attract high technology companies in an attempt to reverse the economic fallout from the decline of the local steel industry. Lubove also separates the successes from the failures, the good intentions from the actual results.
Where Love Leaves Us
Renee Manfredi University of Iowa Press, 1994 Library of Congress PS3563.A469W48 1994 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
These nine superbly crafted stories, set primarily in Pittsburgh's Italian American neighborhoods, concentrate on families, on the poignant nature of father-daughter relationships, and on the fate of those who are refugees from their physical or spiritual communities. “Love is born only out of wreckage,” Manfredi's characters declare bravely. Her vigorous families are both the wrecking crews and the architects of the human foundation.
In “The Projectionist,” a displaced Sicilian is forced to confront the family he lost in war-torn Italy at the same time that his current family is disintegrating; his disillusionment with the American dream overwhelms him when his oldest daughter exchanges Old World values for the hippie-inspired climate of permissiveness. Ten-year-old Elena, in “Bocci,” takes the teachings of her strict Catholic upbringing to the extreme, and it is her devoutness that is cruelly used against her when violence compels her to reject becoming “a nun or a saint.” The father in “Tall Pittsburgh” sends his daughter to charm school at Sears, then enters her in a beauty pageant for tall women. Distraught in spite of her second-place win, he begins to relive his grief over the death of his beautiful wife.
Many of Manfredi's vital, luminous characters are outsiders, dispossessed by their inability to bridge the gap between the self and others, forced to deal with loss through death and lapse of faith, yet always managing to survive despite their place on the bewildering margins. Manfredi reveals an affirmation, finally, that hope is a permanent possession of every human spirit.
The monumental American Guide Series, published by the Federal Writers’ Project, provided work to thousands of unemployed writers, editors, and researchers in the midst of the Great Depression. Featuring books on states, cities, rivers, and ethnic groups, it also opened an unprecedented view into the lives of the American people during this time. Untold numbers of projects in progress were lost when the program was abruptly shut down by a hostile Congress in 1939.
One of those, "The Negro in Pittsburgh," lay dormant in the Pennsylvania State Library until it was microfilmed in 1970. The WPA History of the Negro in Pittsburgh marks the first publication of this rich body of information. This unique historical study of the city’s black population features articles on civil rights, social class, lifestyle, culture, folklore, and institutions from colonial times through the 1930s.