Book Reviews: Spring 2012

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, Edited by George E. Thomas with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce ThomasBuildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania
Edited by George E. Thomas with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas
Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010.
675 pp., B&W illustrations, line drawings, maps.
$75.00 hardcover

Another in the Society of Architectural Historians’ “Buildings of Pennsylvania” series, this companion volume to Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania will delight architecture buffs and general readers alike. Categorized by six regions, the book follows the Pennsylvania migration narrative from the Philadelphia area’s original Quaker settlement zone to the Northern Tier, settled by New Englanders. The description of each structure includes not only architectural details but details regarding its historical significance.

Reviewed by Jennifer Kissel, Editorial Assistant of Publications, Heinz History Center

Italian Americans: Bridges to Italy, Bonds to America, Edited by Luciano J. Iorizzo and Ernest J. RossiItalian Americans: Bridges to Italy, Bonds to America
Edited by Luciano J. Iorizzo and Ernest J. Rossi
Youngstown, NY: Teneo Press, 2010.
315 pp., B&W photos.
$39.99 softcover

Comprising about eight percent of the United States population, Italian Americans have contributed to America’s growth in every industry and profession, fought in her wars, and served in Congress, all while suffering discrimination and prejudice. Through it all, they retained strong ties to their families, religion, and Italy.

In this scholarly examination (which honors editor Luciano Iorizzo’s friend and colleague Dr. Salvatore Mondello), Iorizzo and Ernest Ross use interviews with Italians and Italian Americans to tell the story of immigrants and their descendants who proudly call themselves American citizens while maintaining emotional, familial and cultural bonds with their homeland. Topics cover a wide range, including Italian Americans’ response to the 1908 Messina earthquake and tsunami, an examination of the comparison of the integration of Mexicans and Italians into American society, and even Italian Americans’ early influence on jazz.

Reviewed by Jennifer Kissel, Editorial Assistant of Publications, Heinz History Center

No Bag for the Journey: One Man, One Bicycle, One Outrageous Journey of Faith, by Joseph MartinNo Bag for the Journey: One Man, One Bicycle, One Outrageous Journey of Faith
By Joseph Martin
Glenshaw, Pa.: Comfort Press, 2010.
215 pp., B&W photos
$15.00 softcover

Struggling with life, uncertain about his future, a Christian youth minister from Aliquippa, Pa., undertook an arduous 2,700-mile, 43-day solo cross-country bicycle ride to revitalize his faith. During the journey, Joseph Martin soon discovered that his Christian beliefs would be challenged as never before.

Battling grueling heat, rough terrain, dangerous roads, illness, injuries, and personal doubts, Martin experienced stirring encounters with people who helped him along the way. His ride became a quest to rediscover the roots of his faith.

Martin’s story will inspire those who wrestle with questions of faith, hope, acceptance, and personal direction.

Reviewed by Jennifer Kissel, Editorial Assistant of Publications, Heinz History Center

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