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Front-Page Pittsburgh: Two Hundred Years Of The Post-Gazette Hardcover – January 28, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Details the paper's history from its start in 1786 through wars, publishers, changing politics, journalistic evolutions, suffrage, and a strike that held a mirror to Pittsburgh. We realize, through this book, how the written news acts as a constant to the readers of a sometimes uncertain region. . . . Take the insider journey, you'll find a renewed sense of respect for the paper that made the trip."
--Carol Lee Espy, WQED

About the Author

Clarke M. Thomas, was a combat infantryman in World War II, spent forty-three years as a newspaperman in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. In 1997 he received the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania President's Award “in recognition of outstanding career achievement and contributions to Western Pennsylvania journalism.”

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press (January 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822942488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822942481
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,092,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on May 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I'm not from Pittsburgh so some of this matter went over my head but I must say that Clarke Thomas is a smooth journalist of the old fashioned kind who believes that language's transparency can be used to convey information directly to the reader, without bias, without slanting. His history of The Pittsburgh Gazette is interesting because it parallels American history. Why, the Gazette was founded before the US Constitution was signed! It's hard to believe but people loved the news even back then, so much so that horses would deliver the paper on broadsides and it would be read on the village square and in pubs in the tiny hamlets of western Pennsylvania. Reading the progress of the paper over the years of the nineteenth century made me think of that movie THE VILLAGE, the recent film for which an old time village was fabricated in the woods outside Pittsburgh or wherever. The most intriguing characters were the Block family. For me, they were examples of courage because they dared press for integration, both subtly and openly, as the calendar moved from the 1930s through the 1940s and 1950s. Just as Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson and other enlightened figures in baseball gave us a glimpse into an integrated USA, Pittsburgh had its own quiet heroes.

Paul Block, the one who engineered the merger of the POST and the GAZETTE, had an intriguing career too! I have read many books on Hearst and Marion Davies, and never ran into the story which Mr. Thomas reports in this book--that Block and Davies were an item before she met Hearst, and that the three of them palled around together even after she took up with Hearst (one newsman after another for our favorite comedienne, Marion Davies)! It is an eye-opener for sure and presents an interesting sidelight on a much-discussed liaison.
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