Absalom Hazlett by Spencer Sadler

Absalom Hazlett A Loyal Soldier in John Brown’s Army by Spencer Sadler Arcadia, 144 pp., paperback $21.99 Most readers will undoubtedly associate Harpers Ferry (the locale) with John Brown (the man). Brown’s charismatic personality and single-minded focus tend to overpower any narrative. Many of the 22 men who joined this well-intentioned yet ill-fated 1859 arsenal raid are usually collectively...
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To Risk It All by Michael N. McConnell

To Risk It All General Forbes, the Capture of Fort Duquesne, and the Course of Empire in the Ohio Country by Michael N. McConnell University of Pittsburgh Press, 399 pp., hardcover $35 Michael McConnell restores urgency to the Seven Years’ War in To Risk It All. Eleven chapters explore, as the author notes, “How he [Brig. Gen. John Forbes] succeeded, and what his success meant to the subsequent...
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Railroad Depots of Northwest Pennsylvania by Dan West

Railroad Depots of Northwest Pennsylvania by Dan West Arcadia, 128 pp., paperback $21.95 Two years ago, I was traveling to northwestern Pennsylvania to attend a meeting in Titusville, when I took a slight detour to photograph Union Station in Erie. The one resource that could really have helped me was Dan West’s Railroad Depots of Northwest Pennsylvania. Who knew there were so many stations in a...
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Painter of the Stars by Lee S. Heffner and Patrick J. Donmoyer

Painter of the Stars The Life and Work of Milton J. Hill (1887–1972) by Lee S. Heffner and Patrick J. Donmoyer Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, 144 pp., hardcover $35 The most familiar visual symbols of Pennsylvania Dutch folk culture are the colorful circular designs known popularly as “hex signs,” which adorn countless items marketed to visitors to Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country,...
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The Health of the Commonwealth by James E. Higgins

The Health of the Commonwealth A Brief History of Medicine, Public Health, and Disease in Pennsylvania by James E. Higgins Temple University Press/The Pennsylvania Historical Association, 138 pp., paperback $19.95 The history of public health and medicine is more important now than ever. As Pennsylvania weathers global pandemics and health crises, it is essential to understand how our current...
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Making Industrial Pittsburgh Modern by Edward K. Muller and Joel A. Tarr

Making Industrial Pittsburgh Modern Environment, Landscape, Transportation, Energy, and Planning by Edward K. Muller and Joel A. Tarr University of Pittsburgh Press, 504 pp., hardcover $40 Discussions of “modern” Pittsburgh often begin and end with the Renaissance, the rightfully lauded postwar effort to spruce up the city’s tarnished image and clear its smoky skies. But there is so much more to...
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Out in Central Pennsylvania by William Burton with Barry Loveland

Out in Central Pennsylvania The History of an LGBTQ Community by William Burton, with Barry Loveland Pennsylvania State University Press, 280 pp., paperback $24.95 LGBTQ history is preserved in many ways: personal storytelling, community and academic archives, organization blogs, institutional memory, journalism, and books. Many of the books written on LGBTQ history have focused on major...
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Sewn in Coal Country, edited by Robert P. Wolensky

Sewn in Coal Country An Oral History of the Ladies’ Garment Industry in Northeastern Pennsylvania, 1945-1995 edited by Robert P. Wolensky Pennsylvania State University Press, 416 pp., hardcover $99.95, paperback $39.95 This edited collection of oral histories provides an important ground-level perspective on the story of the ladies’ garment industry in northeastern Pennsylvania and the role...
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George Marshall by David L. Roll

George Marshall Defender of the Republic by David L. Roll Dutton Caliber, 704 pp., hardcover $34 George C. Marshall grew up in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, but his chosen path would take him far, both physically and conceptually. His notable service in the military spanned from Gen. John J. Pershing’s aide-de-camp in World War I to Army chief of staff during World War II. After the war, he served as...
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Little Italy in the Great War by Richard N. Juliani

Little Italy in the Great War Philadelphia’s Italians on the Battlefield and Home Front by Richard N. Juliani Temple University Press, 302 pp., paper $37.95 With this work Richard N. Juliani, a professor emeritus of sociology at Villanova University, provides an admirably researched microhistory that explores how Philadelphia’s Italian Americans responded to the demands of World War I, the...
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