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STEEL

THE STORY OF PITTSBURGH'S IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY 1852-1902

Thoroughly researched and revealing.

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A history of Pittsburgh and its steel industry, from the robber barons to the laborers.

In this history book, Perelman (The Regent, 2012) brings together many narrative threads: the changes in Pittsburgh and surrounding communities as the steel industry developed; the workers who toiled for low pay and saw their attempts to organize met with violence; and the ruthless, driven industrialists who clawed their ways to the top. Andrew Carnegie, Henry Frick and Charles Schwab are among the famous names inhabiting the elites’ side of history, while Perelman’s workers are generally nameless, identified more by their ethnicities and meager incomes. At times, this can seem like an odd choice, particularly because Perelman invents dialogue, often in stilted English, for his unnamed workers: “ ‘Where go train?’ he asked an agent in English like the sailor had told him. ‘Over there, Greenhorn,’ the man answered curtly pointing to the railroad station.” The book is stronger when dealing with the documented historical record, and the footnotes demonstrate Perelman’s wide-ranging research. Demonstrating a clear understanding of complexities in the steel industry, he unravels the clashing loyalties of the Homestead strike and the back-stabbing business negotiations, making them intelligible to readers less familiar with the subject. Though the narrative is well-structured, the writing lacks polish in some areas; other times, it occupies the boundary between elegant simile and overwriting: “Jones eased into the iron industry like a male model fitting into a bespoke suit”; “From the onset, the two clashed like vinegar and oil.” Readers willing to accommodate such narrative flourishes will find the book a useful addition to the shelves of American industrial history and a valuable guide to both primary and secondary sources, as well as a vivid depiction of some of the 19th century’s most ambitious, contradictory tycoons.

Thoroughly researched and revealing.

Pub Date: July 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-1497341401

Page Count: 222

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


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  • National Book Award Finalist

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


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  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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