Most helpful positive review
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Pennsylvania History Presented in Fine Fashion
on May 13, 2003
A much needed history book concerning Pennsylvania has finally been published, and that book is "Pennsylvania", edited by Randall Miller and William Pencak. This is one of the best state history books ever, as it is comprehensive, readable, and vastly informative. Its chapters are well written and skillfully documented by notable experts on each chapter's time periods and subjects.
To highlight portions of the book does injustice to the multitude of other subjects. Still, among aspects this book discusses include how William Penn's treaty with Native Americans symbolized a new spirit of cooperation in American, and how his son's breaking of that treaty perhaps introduced another national spirit.
We see how how industrial owners persuaded Pennsylvania government to make unprecedented infrastructure developments in railroads, roads, banks, and canals that both made Pennsylvania an industrial leader and the owners quite wealthy.
The book tells us of the first Paleo-Indians who probably came to Pennsylvania 14,000 years ago. Their lifestyles influence through today, as many present highways follow the same routes Indians used for centuries prior.
19th century Philadelphia's business leaders are described as being more centered on their own businesses than on the state of their community than leaders in other cities. This led to New York and Baltimore surpassing Philadelphia economically.
At the turn of the 20th century, child labor was an important factor of Pennsylvanian family income, often representing one third to one half of what a family earned. One sixth of households increased their incomes by renting to boarders.
Pennsylvania has a temperature and climate that resembles that of Europe. This book combines history with many fields of interest. For readers who wish to gain a wealth of knowledge about Pennsylvania, this is the book to own.