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Monongahela Dusk: A Novel Paperback – August 1, 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

Monongahela Dusk: A Novel + And the Wolf Finally Came: The Decline and Fall of the American Steel Industry (Pittsburgh Series in Social and Labor History)
Price for both: $39.35

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Autumn House Press (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932870318
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932870312
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,329,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Hoerr, a McKeesport native and veteran labor journalist, has become a leading chronicler of the demise of industrial America. --Bob Hoover, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

If you really want to know what succeeds and fails in the American way of doing business...pick up a copy of John Hoerr's And the Wolf Finally Came. --Los Angeles Times

...But what makes it all unforgettable is the passion with which Hoerr, bred in the Monongahela Valley, makes poignant the human and economic tragedies of a once proud industry bleeding to death. --The New York Times

About the Author

John Hoerr grew up in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the setting for Monongahela Dusk. He worked for several news organizations, including Business Week and WQED-TV in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit, and New York. Hoerr specialized in national labor reporting in the 1960s when the steel, auto, coal mining and other unions were large and strong enough to conduct nationwide strikes in support of wage demands. Out of this experience, he wrote three nonfiction books including And the Wolf Finally Came: The Decline of the American Steel Industry. He and his wife live in Massachusetts.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. M. Haaf on November 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
John Hoerr paints a fascinating and realistic portrait of labor relations in industrial McKeesport. Every detail in Monongahela Dusk rings with astonishingly accurate beauty, from "thick-shouldered [Pete Bonner] stripped to his undershirt push[ing] a line of beer cases on a clattering roll conveyor" to the "paler reddish-orange glow from Bessemer steel furnaces flush[ing] the valley sky." Monongahela Dusk is rich with labor history and a surprising plot that keeps you turning pages. A must read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Chacko on January 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
MONONGAHELA DUSK is a great story about a time and place in what was once the industrial heartland of America. The Mon Valley is steel country, and the men are as hard as the pipe they roll. The novel's main characters, Bonner, a beer salesman turned beer tycoon, and Miravich, a roustabout turned union official, run into each other one day (literally) and never stop colliding as the story moves from the Depression through the War Years and beyond. Following these two strategically placed men we see every corner of the small city of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and in the end we learn all its secrets, including the biggest and dirtiest.

This is a book filled with taut description, fine dialogue, enough action, and all the truth anyone could ask for. If you ever wondered how it was when J.P. Morgan ran the country instead of just a bank--and how ruthlessly he and the "captains" of industy did it--Monongahela Dusk will fill in all the blanks. Don't miss this one.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn L. Yungk on September 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had been alerted by hometown friends that this book was coming out. I was so pleased to read it, written by a former hs classmate. I thought it was well written and kept my interest.

Although I lived the early part of my life around steel worker neighbors, I did not know much about the processes of making steel nor did I know much about unions.

I thought these two items were addressed very well.
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Format: Paperback
"Monongahela Dusk" is a lively historical novel set in the heart of Steel Country at McKeesport, Pennsylvania. The story wraps around the growth of union power in a business that preferred things the old way. A beer salesman on a bootlegging trip to West Virginia chances to meet a radicalized coal miner, gives him a ride, and becomes involved in a violent skirmish with some union-busting thugs. This incident ties the unlikely pair together for life. As they forge ahead with their separate goals, their paths cross over and over. Miravich, the coal miner, becomes a steel worker and brings his union zeal with him. Bonner, the beer salesman, is an entrepreneur at heart, and tries his hand at one scheme after another. Not all of his dreams are successful, but some are. When he succeeds, it is often in large part due to the support of his strong-willed and loyal wife. The firebrand ex-coal miner Miravich makes a lot of enemies during a career of labor organizing, but his principled stands command respect as well. He meets his steelworker wife Mitzie, and the two have many memorable scenes in the story. Toward the end, Miravich makes a union rallying speech that is inspiring to read. But his uncompromising positions bleed into his home life and he and Mitzie suffer alienation and harsh moments that make the reader cringe with recognition.

Mafia wise guys play prominently, sometimes sympathetically and sometimes villainously, but always looking out for their own interests, and that is understood by all. Enter various local politicians, both honest ones and sleazy ones, and the dynamics become fascinatingly volatile.

Author John Hoerr mixes these elements skillfully, making for an unpredictable saga stretching from 1937 to 1950.
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By J O Legler on July 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A story of unions, enterprise and families in what once was a growing urban center, the big city of the Mon Valley - McKeesport, PA. Told we'll by an author who understood what made the people hard working, and ultimately unmade the town - The once needed union outgrew its mission and now only stories remain.
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