Subject: Fiction / Historical

Subject: Fiction / Historical

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Out Of This Furnace

|9780822952732| Out of This Furnace is Thomas Bell’s most compelling achievement. Its story of three generations of an immigrant Slovak family — the Dobrejcaks — still stands as a fresh and extraordinary accomplishment. The novel begins in the mid-1880s with the naive blundering career of Djuro Kracha. It tracks his arrival from the old country as he walked from New York to White Haven, his later migration to the steel mills of Braddock, Pennsylvania, and his eventual downfall through foolish financial speculations and an extramarital affair. The second generation is represented by Kracha’s daughter, Mary, who married Mike Dobrejcak, a…

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A Rebecca Harding Davis Reader

|9780822955696|“Life in the Iron Mills,” Selected Fiction, and Essays| Rebecca Harding Davis was a prolific writer who published chiefly in popular periodicals over the latter half of the nineteenth century. In tales that combine realism with sentimentalism and in topical essays, Davis confronted a wide range of current issues—notably women’s problems—as one who knew the frustration caused by the genteel female’s helpless social position and barriers against women entering the working world. In an excellent critical introduction, Jean Pfaelzer integrates cultural, historical, and psychological approaches in penetrating readings of Davis’s work. She emphasizes how Davis’s fictional embrace of the commonplace…

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The Valley Of Decision

|9780822958055|Originally published in 1942, The Valley of Decision was an instant success, and its story of four generations of the Scott family—owners and operators of a Pittsburgh iron and steel works—has since captured the imagination of generations of readers. Absorbing and complex, it chronicles the family’s saga from the economic panic of 1873 through the dramatic rise of American industry and trade unionism, through waves of immigration, class conflict, natural disaster, World War I, and Pearl Harbor. In 1945 it was made into a major motion picture starring Greer Garson and Gregory Peck. This reissue features a new foreword by…

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Hard Times

|9780822964223|A Novel of Liberals and Radicals in 1860s Russia|Vasily Sleptsov was a Russian social activist and writer during the politically charged 1860s, known as the “era of great reforms,” and marked by Alexander II’s emancipation of the serfs and the relaxation lifting of censorship. Popular in his day, Sleptsov’s contemporaries Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov praised his writing:, with Chekhov once remarkeding, “Sleptsov taught me, better than most, to understand the Russian intelligent, and my own self as well.” The novella Hard Times is considered Sleptsov’s most important work. It focused popular attention on the radical and liberal movements through…

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The Johnstown Girls

|9780822964407| Ellen Emerson may be the last living survivor of the Johnstown flood. She was only four years old on May 31, 1889, when twenty million tons of water decimated her hometown of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Thousands perished in what was the worst natural disaster in U.S. history at the time. As we witness in The Johnstown Girls, the flood not only changed the course of history, but also the individual lives of those who survived it. A century later, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporters Ben Bragdon and Nina Collins set out to interview 103-year-old Ellen for Ben’s feature article on the flood….

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