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Children's LiteratureIn the closing years of the 19th century, the American dream centered around industry, and industry centered around steel. In Pennsylvania, the steel industry and the labor that supported it clashed with tragic results that reverberated throughout all economic and social classes and altered the course of industrial and labor history. At the center of the controversy was the steel empire built by Andrew Carnegie and the Homestead Steel Works. Throughout the industry, competition among steel mill owners was fierce. Adding to the tension was an organized labor movement that had matured since the Civil War. Legal restrictions on wealth accumulation and monopolies, as well as protections against job losses due to modernization, injury, strikes and death, were few. Conditions in the steel mills were dangerous and miserable. The situation was as volatile as the molten steel that bubbled in the Bessemer converters. In 1892, the pressures within the industry erupted in a strike and confrontation that resulted in a battle between steel workers and the militia and caused a nation-wide sensation. The conflict and its aftermath occupied most of 1892, and the repercussions would extend for decades. The text deftly draws profiles of the major players in the Homestead Steel Strike, merging social context with education and personal ambition peculiar to the American experience of that time and place. Adding interest and a sense of immediacy are old photographs and paintings which illustrate the text. The book, part of the series "American Workers," closes with a timeline, list of sources, a bibliography, list of web sites, and an index and would benefit greatly any sociology, American history or politicalscience class. 2006, Morgan Reynolds Publishing Inc, Ages 12 up.