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Homestead: The Glory and Tragedy of an American Steel Town
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Homestead: The Glory and Tragedy of an American Steel Town

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  53 ratings  ·  10 reviews
This chronicle of Homestead, Pennsylvania, is labor and business history with the power of Theodore Dreiser. Homestead was a town made by steel, and its history is that of a mighty corporation, a bloody strike, and a bloodless but very real civic death in 1986, when the last plant closed. Photos. rint.
Paperback, 460 pages
Published August 31st 1993 by Vintage (first published 1992)
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David V.
Purchased this at a used book sale. It was in such pristine condition that I thought it was a new book. It was actually published in 1992, but it's as relevant today as it was then. I grew up 2 towns away from Homestead in western Pennsylvania, McKeesport, also now a defunct steel town. If you enjoyed the series on the History Channel recently The Men Who Built America, then you'll like this book. It gives a more detailed look at Andrew Carnegie, one of the robber barons---a nickname he earned. ...more
Although dated (published in 1992, before the turnaround of the American steel industry), " Homestead" is a fascinating look at the birth and death of an American steel town. The first and last sections focus almost exclusively on Homestead and the Homestead Works, while the middle sections chronicle the rise and fall of US Steel, the United Steelworkers, and the American steel industry in general.

Homestead itself experienced a modest turnaround of its own when an upscale mixed use community rep
I had thought the book was going to cover mainly the 1892 strike at the Carnegie owned steel works in Homestead. Instead I found it a fascinating history of the steel industry, both the corporation side and the union side. It is also a book about the rise and fall of a single industry based small town America. Perhaps the most telling statement is found when the author mentions the early 1990s when it was fashionable "to say that the corporation (US Steel) and the rest of the steel industry had ...more
Oct 06, 2007 Kate rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People interested in the Rust Belt, unions, steelmaking, deindustrialization
Shelves: rustbeltreads
This was a really interesting book about the history of Homestead, the rise of steelmaking, the history of the steel barons such as Frick and Carnegie, the rise of the US Steel company, the fight to unionize, the glory years and what happened after the plant closed. It is written by a former journalist (my favorite kind of book!) and it very well-written and well researched. The author obviously spent a lot of time with the people in the town. Even though it covers more than 100 years of history ...more
I work at the site of the former Homestead Works and am a frequent visitor to the Carnegie Library of Homestead (built 1898 and christened by Carnegie and Frick as a make peace with the 1892 strikers). Am fascinated to know what author would make of Homestead today and its bland Waterfront development (where else can you have a Red Robin next door to a Fuddruckers and TGIFridays)

The Homestead mills was the sole purpose of the town. Now the Waterfront development could have less to do with the t
Mike Nettleton
An exhaustive if uninspired history of Homestead, PA with an obvious focus on the steel industry. I tried to finish this book as I try to finish every book I start, but honestly it bogged down with thoroughly uninteresting minutiae — the people of Homestead enjoyed celebrating holidays! — and I finally gave up. This book is worth reading if you cherry pick chapters to suit your interest. Cover to cover, it's just not that compelling.
Great book about the rise and decline of the American steel industry as seen through the lens of one town, Homestead, PA. Serrin really gets the personal histories intertwined with the corporate history, and shows that the mill was much more than just a source of employment for the town, becoming an important source of self-esteem not just for the town, but for the employees and the citizens who didn't even work in the mills.
Feh. Like so many histories of the deindustrialization of the Mon Valley, this book gets extremely bogged down in personality profiles of the Union and USS leadership and lacks an attempt at larger understanding of the causes, global economic context, or any real descriptions of grassroots responses to the implosion of these towns in the 80's.
Very engaging and interesting. I'm not big on non-fiction, but it held my attention, and I had trouble putting it down!
Very, very good.
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