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Book Review: “The Mount Washington Transit Tunnel Disaster”

  The Mount Washington Transit Tunnel Disaster By Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt The History Press, 2021 192 pages, 60 photos and maps Paperback, $21.99 Reviewed by Mark Holan, Pittsburgh native and editorial director of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association in Washington, DC. Two dozen people were killed December 24, 1917, when a Pittsburgh…

Book Review: “An Alternative History of Pittsburgh”

  An Alternative History of Pittsburgh By Ed Simon Belt Publishing, 2021 176 pages Paperback, $16.95 Reviewed by Leslie Przybylek, Senior Curator, Heinz History Center In literary tradition, an “alternative history” is speculative fiction based on the historical past but diverted into a contrasting trajectory by changing events at a critical point in the narrative.…

Book Review: “Andy, Can You Hear Us? Communing with Andy Warhol at His Gravesite – Vol. 1 (Winter)”

  Andy, Can You Hear Us? Communing with Andy Warhol at His Gravesite – Vol. 1 (Winter) By Madelyn Roehrig Andy’s Figments, 2020 80 pages, color photos Softcover, $39.99 Reviewed by Eric Lidji, Director, Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives, Heinz History Center The novelist Cynthia Ozick once made a distinction between travelers and pilgrims.…

Book Review: “A Gift of Belief: Philanthropy and the Forging of Pittsburgh”

  A Gift of Belief: Philanthropy and the Forging of Pittsburgh Edited by Kathleen W. Buechel University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021 384 pages Hardcover, $40 Reviewed by Betty Arenth, former senior vice president of the Heinz History Center Few scholars’ lives achieve the nexus of theory and practice as perfectly as Kathy Beuchel who served…

Book Review: “Banished from Johnstown: Racist Backlash in Pennsylvania”

  Banished From Johnstown: Racist Backlash in Pennsylvania By Cody McDevitt History Press, 2020 224 pages Paperback, $23.99 Reviewed by Samuel W. Black, Director, African American Program, Heinz History Center Nearly 100 years ago in 1923, Johnstown ordered the expulsion of African and Mexican Americans from its city limits. The caveat was that Johnstown’s Mayor…

Book Review: “Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob”

  Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob By Russell Shorto W.W. Norton, 2021 272 pages Hardcover, $26.95 Reviewed by Bill Keyes, former museum division director at the History Center, 1994–1999. Russell Shorto, the American historian known for his groundbreaking history of early New York, The Island at the Center of the World,…

Book Reviews: Fall 2018

  Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program By David Meerman Scott and Richard Jurek The MIT Press, 2014 144 pp., 210 color and 25 b&w illustrations Hardcover, $40.95 NASA’s Apollo program is remembered as the series of space flights that ultimately put a man on the Moon in 1969. Millions of…

Book Review: “Drums in the Forest”

  Drums in the Forest: Decision at the Forks, Defense in the Wilderness By Alfred James and Charles Stotz Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1958, 2005. Looking for an enticing book to accompany you this summer? “Drums in the Forest: Decision at the Forks, Defense in the Wilderness” is the perfect…

Book Reviews: Summer 2017

  Butterflies of Pennsylvania: A Field Guide By James L. Monroe & David M. Wright University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017 328 pp., 900+ color illus., checklist of species Paper/flex bound, $24.95 Have you ever been outside on a warm day in Pennsylvania, spotted a butterfly, and wondered what species it was? With “Butterflies of Pennsylvania”…

Book Reviews: Spring 2017

  Civil War in the Southwest Borderlands, 1861–1867 By Andrew E. Masich University of Oklahoma Press, 2017 39 B&W illustrations, 2 maps, 464 pp. Hardcover, $34.95 | Purchase Still the least-understood, and certainly least familiar, theater of the Civil War, the Southwest Borderlands saw not only Union and Confederate forces clashing but Indians and Hispanos…