Bookshelf provides descriptions and notices of recent publications on Pennsylvania subjects.

by Carolyn Adams, et al.
Temple University Press, 1991 (210 pages, cloth, $34.95)

Subtitled Neighborhoods, Division, and Conflict in a Post­industrial City, this book chron­icles Philadelphia’s metamorphosis from a pros­perous and stable city to one facing an uncertain, troubling, even onerous, future. Philadel­phia reverberates with a mes­sage that the city – as well as surrounding communities – is immersed in a social and eco­nomic quagmire from which there appears no escape, and that the only solution is to confront these problems im­mediately and directly. Phila­delphia: Neighborhoods, Division, and Conflict in a Post­industrial City explains the evolution of the city and its metropolitan area in the past forty years by focusing on the economic, political, demo­graphic, and social changes within the region. The authors identify economic change as the reason that this industrial city – renowned for its textile, paper, iron, wood, and furni­ture industries – has been transformed into a post­industrial metropolis with distinct neighborhoods and schismatic racial and ethnic groups. The authors believe the Great Depression fore­shadowed the end 0£ Philadel­phia’s industrial boom. As automation increased the efficiency and volume of pro­duction, manufacturers re­duced work forces and sought service employment for mar­keting their products. Management purchased engineering, advertising, accounting, and legal services from outside their companies, rather than attempt to produce these serv­ices internally. Giant conglom­erates absorbed smaller businesses, and foreign com­panies usurped American firms with cheaper, sturdier goods. Philadelphia contends that the city has never been able to assimilate itself into this changing world. The city’s rowhouses are not easily con­verted into more contempo­rary, detached dwellings; its residents are still educated as industrial immigrants; its communities are still orga­nized around traditional ethnic and racial lines; its city govern­ment is funded on an insuffi­cient, industrially-oriented tax base; and its growing African American population is sys­tematically excluded from vanishing industrial jobs. The book presents work, housing, and public policy patterns which have left their mark on contemporary Philadelphia, concentrating on trends in housing and homelessness, the business community, job distribution, a disintegrating political structure, and in­creased racial, class, and neighborhood conflict. Never a harmonious community of citizens, Philadelphia’s inter­personal hostilities have grown worse in recent years. Philadelphia investigates the growth of the service sector and the discrepancy in the city’s urban renewal program, which rejuvenated center-city but left other neighborhoods in serious need. The book evaluates proposed solutions for the problems befalling Philadelphia and its suburbs, stressing the need for govern­ment action if the city is to ever extricate itself from pre­dicaments it currently faces.


The City on the Hill
by Ernest Morrison
Ernest Morrison, 1991 (262 pages, cloth, $26.50)

By the 1840s Americans were becoming accustomed to the idea that state government had a responsibility to care for the mentally ill. The issues at the time concerned the type of care the Commonwealth should provide, how that care should be paid for, and whether mental hospitals should be large, centralized, state-operated institutions or scattered county facilities­ – debates that, in a sense, con­tinue to the present day. In addition to tracing the one hundred and fifty year history of the Harrisburg State Hospi­tal, The City on the Hill follows national trends in mental health treatment and their impact on the local scene. As Pennsylvania’s first state men­tal hospital and one adjacent to the seat of state govern­ment, the Harrisburg State Hospital has come to represent the Commonwealth’s chang­ing attitudes in the care of its mentally ill. In researching The City on the Hill, the author examined correspondence, hospital annual reports, and manuscripts held by the Penn­sylvania Hospital, Philadel­phia, and the Pennsylvania State Archives and the Histori­cal Society of Dauphin County, Harrisburg. After reviewing reports, letters, and medical notes of physicians and insti­tution superintendents, and following interviews with nurses, aides, and administra­tors of the Harrisburg State Hospital, the author was im­pressed by the concern and dedication of those involved with the care of the mentally ill. The City on the Hill probes the dark years of treatment for the mentally ill, when doctors lacked modern medical knowl­edge and considered epileptics (often children) and tubercular patients beyond any regimen of care. For these individuals, hope and Divine Providence were the only available reme­dies. The author claims that certain chapters in this book­ – those on moral treatment, on the care of the insane during the eighteenth century, and on Thomas Kirkbride (the super­intendent of the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane at Philadelphia) – are essential for the understanding of this study, although the casual reader may not at first grasp their significance. According to the author’s premise, just as it is impossible to understand the founding of the Harrisburg State Hospital without first understanding the background of the mental health field, it remains equally impossible to appreciate John Curwen, the first superintendent of the Pennsylvania State Lunatic Hospital in Harrisburg, with­out knowing something of Kirkbride. The author also believes that knowing how the insane were treated before the nineteenth century is impera­tive for properly assessing the importance of moral treat­ment. This history of the Har­risburg State Hospital has been written for those inter­ested in mental health care and for the general reader, and the use of statistics and charts has been minimized.


Made in York
by Georg R. Sheets
Agricultural and Industrial Museum of York County, 1991 (260 pages, cloth, $24.95)

Made in York: A Survey of the Agricultural and Industrial Heri­tage of York County, Pennsylvania, charts the expansion of one of the Keystone State’s most prosperous counties. Famous for its fertile land and bountiful – if not misnamed­ – “Pennsylvania Dutch” cookery, the region’s successful meld­ing of farming, industry, and culture beckons visitors and prospective residents from outside its boundaries, while at the same time keeping its inhabitants happily en­sconced. The first known settlers of York County lived during the Paleo Indian period and were probably members of the Lenape tribe. Their exist­ence is documented by pictographs, images copied on the inner barks of trees, and petro­glyphs, figures chiseled into stone, which they left behind. These Indians grew squash, corn , and beans, and hunted turkey, duck, rabbit, squirrel, deer, and elk. They fished shad and shellfish from the Susquehanna River, and ate eel, trout, pike, and turtles from the Codorus Creek and other streams. John Smith, the founder of Jamestown, was the first white man to visit this area in 1608, followed shortly afterward by other Europeans. By 1741 the region had become so heavily populated that Philadelphia officials appointed Thomas Cookson, deputy surveyor of Lancaster County, to draft a town plan. A native of Yorkshire, England, Cookson sited the settle­ment on the east side of the Codorus Creek and christened it “York.” The author provides other interesting details of the county’s history, relating how, by the mid-eighteenth century, Pennsylvania had become one of the most important pro­ducers of flour and grain in North America, thanks to the significant contribution of York County. Because of the abun­dance of corn, rye, wheat, and barley, local residents began to brew beer and distill whiskey. The reputation of York lager and spirits eventually reached Joppa, a town later absorbed by Baltimore, spawning a brisk business between York’s sup­pliers and Baltimore’s con­sumers. Made in York explains why German settlers came to be called “Pennsylvania Dutch.” Until after the American Revolution, the town of York was dominated by the Germans, but these settlers were pressured to change by leaders of local, state, and national governments, who spoke English. The Germans began speaking a little Eng­lish, but freely punctuated their conversation with their own verbs and phrases, and the unique dialect inevitably became known as “Pennsylva­nia Dutch.” Made in York re­veals the key roles the county has played in American his­tory. York County produced military hardware and food for American troops during the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and this century’s two World Wars. It also claimed industrial successes, produc­ing tobacco, metal, silk, and paper at various points in its development. Today, agricul­ture remains the county’s most important industry, infusing more than a billion dollars each year into the local econ­omy. Made in York: A Survey of the Agricultural and Industrial Heritage of York County, Pennsyl­vania, a thoughtfully designed and liberally illustrated book, shows why natural resources and hard work hallmark a region that continues to thrive to this day.


Harvey’s Lake
by F. Charles Petrillo
Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, 1991 (208 pages, pa­per, $18.95)

Northeastern Pennsylva­nia’s Wyoming Valley claims a vibrant history, two centuries of which are recounted (and graphically depicted) in this revised edition of the author’s 1983 publication. Idyllic Harvey’s Lake is located near Wilkes-Barre and remains one of the Keystone State’s most popular resort lakes. The lake was discovered in 1781 by Benjamin Harvey, for whom it was named. Harvey’s discov­ery, as tradition holds, oc­curred accidentally because he had lost his way upon being released from British forces following the Revolutionary War. Harvey’s Lake also tells of the Wyoming Valley’s early years, from the late eighteenth century to 1886, during which the land surrounding the lake was settled. Lack of adequate transportation systems during this century of settlement limited the region’s appeal to vacationers and summer visi­tors. Harvey’s Lake enjoyed its “golden years” from 1887 to 1919, spawned by the expan­sion of the Lehigh Valley Rail­road from Wilkes-Barre to north of the lake. (Until rail­road service, guests reached the popular Lake Grove House and Rhoads Hotel on stage lines.) During its heyday, the lake became one of the busiest resorts of the period. The introduction of steamboats­ – which offered transportation and recreation, as well as boosting local industry­ – spurred the economic development of Harvey’s Lake. During World War I and World War II, the lake resort suffered hard times, but in peacetime the serene valley thrived. Radio had been perfected during the first World War, and its musical appeal reached the public; inevitably, the dances at the lake became a major attraction for summer visitors and entertainers alike. From 1941 to its bicentennial year in 1981, Harvey’s Lake witnessed tremendous changes, including the omission of the apostrophe in 1949. The Harvey’s Lake Boat Club, a famous mainstay, was opened in 1941, followed four years later by Brokenshire’s Hotel, and by Hanson’s Amusement Park in 1949. The park – one of the lake’s largest attractions, with its merry-go­-round, roller coaster, and casino – remained in operation until 1973. The development of Harvey’s Lake is chronicled by the author, providing an intimate glimpse at one of many picturesque summer colonies that once flourished in Penn­sylvania. Harvey’s Lake captures the flavor of a seasonal paradise that still lingers, albeit wistfully, in the memories of those who once called it their summer home. The book features a number of vintage photographs of lake land­marks, including the Lake Grove House, steamboat land­ing, summer trolley, Oneonta Pavilion, the steamship Na­toma, Lakeside Inn, and Lord’s Restaurant. (For a fascinating account of another summer colony, see “The Magic of Mount Gretna: An Interview with Jack Bitner” by Diane B. Reed in the spring 1992 edition. )


Lawmaking and Legislators in Pennsylvania
by Craig W. Horle and Marianne S. Wokeck, editors
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991 (880 pages, cloth, $89.95)

The first volume of this biographical dictionary exam­ines Pennsylvania’s legislature, from founder William Penn’s first General Assembly in December 1682 to the climactic General Assembly election of 1710, when the victory of Penn’s allies subdued factions opposed to proprietary gov­ernment. Of the three hun­dred and thirty-eight representatives of this period, biographical sketches have been written about three hun­dred and twenty-five; the balance will be addressed in a subsequent volume because most of their careers took place after 1709.