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A Town Without Steel (Paperback)

Envisioning Homestead

Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9780822956761
Published: 22nd October 1998
Casemate UK Academic

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In 1986, with little warning, the USX Homestead Works closed. Thousands of workers who depended on steel to survive were left without work. A Town Without Steel looks at the people of Homestead as they reinvent their views of household and work and place in this world. The book details the modifications and revisions of domestic strategies in a public crisis. In some ways unique, and in some ways typical of American industrial towns, the plight of Homestead sheds light on social, cultural, and political developments of the late twentieth century. In this anthropological and photographic account of a town facing the crisis of deindustrialization, A Town Without Steel focuses on families. Reminiscent of Margaret Byington and Lewis Hine\u2019s approach in Homestead, Charlee Brodsky\u2019s photographs document the visual dimension of change in Homestead. The mill that dominated the landscape transformed to a vast, empty lot; a crowded commercial street turns into a ghost town; and an abundance of well-kept homes become an abandoned street of houses for sale. The individual narratives and family snapshots, Modell\u2019s interpretations, and Brodsky\u2019s photographs all evoke the tragedy and the resilience of a town whose primary source of self-identification no longer exists.

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