Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Henz History Center
Heinz History Center

Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Publications and Book Reviews

By: Sherrie Flick, editorial assistant, Senator John Heinz History Center

What the Heart Can Bear: Selected and Uncollected Poems, 1979-1993
By Robert Gibb
(Pittsburgh: Autumn House Press, 2009)
150 pps., softcover $19.95

Poet Robert Gibb was born in Homestead, Pennsylvania. His latest collection, out with Pittsburgh-based Autumn House Press and his eighth book of poetry, is a selection of his early work. As Michael Waters notes, “This book belongs among those worn American classics crammed on the rough-hewn shelf nailed onto the mudroom walls.” Nature and earth and poignant observations of the world around him abound: “The fires of the fields rattle my sight, / And out in what I say is the wind, the dead go on / Without us, flaking in the falling air.”

Monongehela Dusk: A Novel
By John Hoerr
Illustrations by Bill Yund
(Pittsburgh: Autumn House Press, 2009)
310 pps., softcover $19.95

This novel by veteran labor journalist and McKeesport native John Hoerr, author of And the Wolf Finally Came, works its way from 1937 to 1950. Labor turmoil sweeps across Western Pennsylvania as traveling beer sales person Pete Bonner picks up a hitchhiker Joe Miravich. This fateful meeting forms an unlikely alliance to thwart the economic and political powers conspiring against them and which, 40 years later, turn the mill towns of the Monongahela Valley into blighted relics of the industrial era.

Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend
By Larry Tye

(New York: Random House, 2009)
Photographs, index, 398 pps., hardcover $26

Just a small section of journalist Larry Tye’s thick book focuses on the Pittsburgh years for Satchel Paige and his time with the Pittsburgh Crawfords. Chapter 3, “The Glory Trail,” chronicles 25-year-old Paige’s meet up with Crawford’s owner Gus Greenlee, the rivalry between the Homestead Grays and the Crawfords, and Paige’s rise to Negro league’s 1934 All-Star player. Tye notes that by the 1930s “Pittsburgh was to America’s black sports scene what Harlem was to its literary and arts life.”

Publications and Book Reviews

By: Art Louderback, chief librarian, Senator John Heinz History Center's Library & Archives

They Flew Proud
By Jane Gardner Birch
(Nappanee, Ind.: Evangel Publishing House, 2007)
Illustrations, bibliography, index, 190 pp., $35.00 hardcover

Traveling on Interstate 79, you may have noticed gliders and parasail flyers near the Grove City exit. This is what remains of Grove City’s important aviation history. The small Grove City Airport became part of a vocational education program to train pilots known as the Civilian Pilot Training Program in 1939. It was transformed during World War II as a vehicle to teach pilots for the war effort. The program trained nearly 500 pilots during the war. After the war, the airport slowly fell into disrepair and was finally replaced by a newer airport.

Nickelodeon City: Pittsburgh at the Movies, 1905-1929
By Michael Aronson
(Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008)
Illustrations, bibliography, index, xvii, 300 pp., $35.95 hardcover

One of Pittsburgh’s many innovations was the first motion picture house, the Nickelodeon. Aronson follows the emergence of the film industry in the city, describing the growth of new theaters and the industry itself. Many of the heads of Hollywood’s major studios came through Pittsburgh before they moved on to California. Much of the research for this book came from the Pittsburgh Motion Picture Bulletin, a unique local trade journal that captured the growth of film in the area.

The Heinz Tomato Ketchup Cookbook
By Paul Hartley
(Berkeley, Calif.: Ten Speed Press, 2008)
Illustrations, index, 85 pp., $12.95 hardcover

This is a good cookbook for cooks who want to use the most well known Pittsburgh food product: Heinz ketchup. Heinz ketchup is known and sold worldwide. Hartley has many interesting recipes interspersed with intriguing facts and trivia about the product. There are also classic advertisements and a timeline of ketchup bottles.

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