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The River Ran Red: Homestead 1892

Overview

The violence that erupted at Carnegie Steel's giant Homestead mill near Pittsburgh on July 6. 1892, caused a congressional investigation and trials for treason, motivated a nearly successful assassination attempt on Frick, contributed to the defeat of President Benjamin Harrison for a second term, and changed the course of the American labor movement.

"The River Ran Red" commemorates the one-hundredth anniversary of the Homestead strike of 1892. Instead of retelling the story of...

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Overview

The violence that erupted at Carnegie Steel's giant Homestead mill near Pittsburgh on July 6. 1892, caused a congressional investigation and trials for treason, motivated a nearly successful assassination attempt on Frick, contributed to the defeat of President Benjamin Harrison for a second term, and changed the course of the American labor movement.

"The River Ran Red" commemorates the one-hundredth anniversary of the Homestead strike of 1892. Instead of retelling the story of the strike, it recreates the events of that summer in excerpts from contemporary newspapers and magazines, reproductions of pen-and-ink sketches and photographs made on the scene, passages from the congressional investigation that resulted from the strike, first-hand accounts by observers and participants, and poems, songs, and sermons from across the country. Contributions by outstanding scholars provide the context for understanding the social and cultural aspects of the strike, as well as its violence.

"The River Ran Red" is the collaboration of a team of writers, archivists, and historians, including Joseph Frazier Wall, who writes of the role of Andrew Carnegie at Homestead, and David Montgomery, who considers the significance of the Homestead Strike for the present. The book is both readable and richly illustrated. It recalls public and personal reactions to an event in our history who's reverberations can still be felt today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Readable, as well as richly illustrated.”

—Pennsylvania Heritage

Library Journal
July 6, 1992 will mark the 100th anniversary of the most significant labor-management confrontation in U.S. history: the Homestead Strike. In commemoration of this industrial crisis, Demarest (Carnegie-Mellon) and eight coeditors have produced an anthology of events surrounding the conflict. The numerous illustrations include photographs, cartoons, and period engravings. The text, which includes excerpts from magazine and newspaper articles, Congressional testimony, and speeches and memoranda, reveals the viewpoints of some major players: industrialists Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick, unionist John McLuckie, and anarchists Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman. Although this anthology contains a wealth of information, it lacks an index to guide the reader to specific material in the text. Recommended for public libraries and for those who wish to read a dramatic portrayal of the Homestead Strike. Krause (Univ. of British Columbia) provides a more scholarly treatment, examining the strike in terms of broader issues confronting the Gilded Age. He focuses on the labor-management disputes of the era, which represented the never-ending ``conflict between the pursuit of private interest and the defense of the common good.'' Individuals like Carnegie amassed material wealth at the expense of common laborers who wanted only decent wages and security for their families. Krause suggests that the Homestead lockout revealed the difficulty of reconciling America's vision of democracy for all with the reality of material progress restricted to a fortunate few. Moreover, the author questions whether this ``dilemma'' will ever be reconciled. An important contribution to the study of American history; highly recommended for research library collections.-- B.A. Kremer, Johns Hopkins Univ. Libs., Baltimore
Booknews
Commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Homestead Strike (Pittsburgh, PA) of 1892. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822954781
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1992
  • Series: Pittsburgh Series in Social and Labor History
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 1,044,029
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

David P. Demarest Jr. teaches English at Carnegie Mellon University.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Steel and Men 1
2 Gathering Storm: February to June 28, 1892 25
3 Lockout: June 29 to July 4, 1892 47
4 The Battle: July 5-6, 1892 73
5 Mourning and Outrage: July 7-11, 1892 105
6 Bayonets Rule: July 12-22, 1892 127
7 Assassination Attempt: July 23, 1892 163
8 A Cause Lost: August 1892 to January 1893 181
9 Legacy: The Next Hundred Years 203
Afterword 225
Sources and Suggested Readings 229
Credits and Contributors 231
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