We love Pittsburgh! If you do too, and you love to read, check out the nine books below set in the Steel City.
1. "Smoketown : The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance" by Mark Whitaker
"The other great Renaissance of black culture, influence, and glamour burst forth joyfully in what may seem an unlikely place--Pittsburgh, PA--from the 1920s through the 1950s. Today black Pittsburgh is known as the setting for August Wilson's famed plays about noble but doomed working-class strivers. But this community once had an impact on American history that rivaled the far larger black worlds of Harlem and Chicago"--Amazon
Explores the politics, culture, and morality of steelmaking in late nineteenth-century America and traces the growth of Homestead, Pennsylvania, the site of the world's largest and most progressive steel mill.
"A detailed, carefully wrought business biography of Henry Clay Frick, one of the leading entrepreneurs in American heavy industry during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Kenneth Warren has provided not only insight into the life of Henry Clay Frick, but a major contribution to our understanding of the history of the basic industries, the shaping of society, locality, and region - and thereby of laying the foundations for the value systems and landscapes of present-day America." --Amazon
Analyzes the collapse of the steel industry in the 1980s.
"A major work by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson. A thoroughly revised version of a play August Wilson first wrote in 1979, Jitney was produced in New York for the first time in the spring of 2000, winning rave reviews and the accolade of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award as the best play of the year. Set in the 1970s in Pittsburgh's Hill District, and depicting gypsy cabdrivers who serve black neighborhoods, Jitney is the seventh in Wilson's 10-play cycle (one for each decade) on the black experience in twentieth century America. He writes not about historical events or the pathologies of the black community, but, as he says, about the unique particulars of black culture . . . I wanted to place this culture onstage in all its richness and fullness and to demonstrate its ability to sustain us . . . through profound moments in our history in which the larger society has thought less of us than we have thought of ourselves." --Amazon
Seventeen-year-old Greg has managed to become part of every social group at his Pittsburgh high school without having any friends, but his life changes when his mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a girl he once knew in Hebrew school who has leukemia.
Three generations of an immigrant Slovak family struggle to make better lives for themselves in the steel mills of Braddock, Pennsylvania.
Charlie, a freshman in high school, explores the dilemmas of growing up through a collection of letters he sends to an unknown receiver.
This isn't so much a history of Pittsburgh as it is a biography. Sometimes we're so afraid of what others think, we're afraid to declare who we are. This city is not midwestern. It's not East Coast. It's just Pittsburgh, and there's no place like it. That's both its blessing and its curse.
Are there books set in Pittsburgh that you would add to this list? If yes, please add them in the comments section below.