on March 13, 2001
It is so good to see this book back in print! At the time it was published, it received luke-warm reviews. I'm not sure why reviewers did not originally appreciate this very fine study. The topic is fascinating. There are engaging discussions of the method Dorson used in studying the lives of millworkers. But the content of the stories that Dorson documents must be recognized as an incredibly important contribution to the historical record. Every chapter is highly readable, and the stories are fascinating, poignant, and moving. There are rich and vibrant descriptions of the vitality of life within steel mills, and the work is an important contribution to preserving a record of an industry that has undergone rapid change. Although some of the major theoretical issues that Dorson addressed are now dated, a reminder that this book was written almost 20 years ago reveals that the book has grown old gracefully. This book is great reading for anyone interested the occupational culture of steel mills and life in a milltown. It is now essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the region.
on March 5, 2008
I read this book about 20 years ago while in college. I grew up in the Calumet Region. My grandfather worked in the steel mills, as did his father upon arrival from Poland. This book offers a nice history of Lake Michigan's south shore. The author does a great job of investigating the hard-working, down-to-earth, no-nonsense culture of the "regionites."