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

Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Publications and Book Reviews

By: Kelly Anderson, publications intern, Senator John Heinz History Center

Remember Me: Civil War Letters Home from a Hospital Steward, 1862-1864; Daniel McKinley Martin

By Alan I. West
(Chicora, Pa.: Firefly Publications, 2010)
328 pps., softcover $29.95

“The life of a soldier is a hard one.” Writing to his wife and family in Pittsburgh, Daniel McKinley Martin recounted the daily struggles of a hospital steward in the Civil War. Martin’s letters illustrate major issues of the day, such as the relationship between husband and wife, abolition, and 19th century medical practices on the battlefield. Local author Alan West has carefully transcribed those letters and, with his additional commentary, put Martin in his historical context for the modern reader.

The Texture of Contact: European and Indian Settler Communities on the Frontiers of Iroquoia, 1667-1783
By David L. Preston
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009)
395 pps., hardcover $45.00

In a fascinating work based on primary source research, Citadel professor David Preston takes another look at history’s preconceived notions regarding settler and Indian interactions in the colonial period. Focusing on the daily contact between colonists and Native Americans, Preston argues that the groups adapted to one another in an unofficial manner, since “[c]ulture did not always overshadow the settlers’ common humanity.” His area of interest includes the Ohio River valley in the 18th century, especially the Delaware community near Fort Kittanning.

A Mother’s Story: Memories from the Turtle Creek Valley
By Maryann B. Lawrence(New York: iUniverse Inc., 2010)
131 pps., softcover $14.95

In the small town of Turtle Creek, on top of a hill known as Electric Plan, Maryann Lawrence experienced the tumult and tranquility of early 20th century America. Her memoir recounts life as the granddaughter of German and Polish immigrants, her family’s struggles through the Great Depression and World War II, and the prosperity they witnessed in the 1950s and ’60s. Readers who enjoy tales of small town life and the American experience will appreciate Lawrence’s touching vignettes.

Pennsylvania Crude: Boomtowns and Oil Barons
By Paul Adomites
(Bradford, Pa.: Forest Press, 2010)
116 pps., hardcover $39.95

Western Pennsylvania’s oil heritage, both past and present, comes to life in Paul Adomites’ latest work. The Pittsburgh native recounts the history of petroleum in the region, from Native Americans’ use of the substance to Drake’s famous well and the modern industry, with side trips to other points of interest. Colorful characters and events are portrayed in vivid detail through the lens of photographer Ed Bernik. Newcomers to the subject as well as oil history buffs will also enjoy Pennsylvania Crude’s bonus DVD that takes viewers on an enjoyable road trip through the area’s oil fields.

Citizen Environmentalists
By James Longhurst
(Medford, Mass.: Tufts University Press, 2010)
238 pps., softcover $35.00

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse professor James Longhurst uses Pittsburgh-based Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) to illustrate the involvement of average citizens in the fight against pollution during the late 1960s and early 1970s. His account details the beginnings of the anti-pollution movement, especially amongst middle class women, and further investigates their clash with anti-regulation groups. The drama is set against the backdrop of the declining steel industry in Pittsburgh at the time and in the context of the national environmentalist movement.

Images of America: Cascade Park
By Anita DeVivo and the Lawrence County Historical Society
(Chicago: Arcadia Publishing Company, 2010)
127 pps., softcover $21.99

Anita DeVivo, with the help of the Lawrence County Historical Society, has composed a photographic walk through New Castle’s historic Cascade Park. Now 113 years old, the picturesque grounds have attracted citizens of Western Pennsylvania and the nation at large to its roller coasters, dance hall, and famous vinegar-drenched French fries. Photographs of Cascade Park capture its long history, from Victorian picnics and Roaring Twenties boat rides, to 1940s dance scenes and modern efforts of local citizens to restore their community’s park to its former glory.

Letters from the Storm: The Intimate Civil War Letters of Lt. J. A. H. Foster, 155th Pennsylvania Volunteers
By Linda Foster Arden, edited by Dr. Walter L. Powell
(Chicora, Pa.: Firefly Publications, 2010)
351 pps., softcover $29.95

After reading the letters of her great-great grandfather John Alexander Foster, author Linda Foster Arden felt compelled to share his impressions of service in the Civil War with a wider audience. A jeweler from Rural Valley, Armstrong County, Foster volunteered to serve with the Army of the Potomac in 1862. His letters to his wife detail life in camp, his various engagements, and his concerns about family affairs, and also provide a unique look at a passionate 19th century marriage.

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