Sparrows Point: Making Steel: The Rise and Ruin of American Industrial Might

Mark Reutter, Author Summit Books $24.45 (494p) ISBN 978-0-671-55335-7
As a Baltimore Sun reporter in 1978, Reutter investigated a series of fatal accidents at Sparrows Point, a Bethlehem Steel production facility on the Chesapeake Bay. In this well-documented, lively history, he chronicles a 100-year saga of steel as the quintessential American industry whose roaring furnaces and earth-shaking mills turned iron ore into a continental railroad network and made plates for munitions and warships, castings for automobiles, strips for canning food, and cables and girders for bridges and skyscrapers. With his focus on Sparrow Point, Reutter shows that steel workers toiled in 200-degree heat and mortal dangerwith bi-weekly, 24-hour ``swing shifts''thus helping managers acquire millions of dollars in bonuses. Among other events, the author recalls the 1898 Spanish-American war that gave Bethlehem chief Charles Schwab an iron mountain in Cuba, World War I and II sales bonanzas, the Depression, the New Deal and the bloody anti-union ``Memorial Day massacre'' of 1937, the 1950s boom and the Reaganomic decline with the current near-surrender to foreign competition. First serial to Wilson Quarterly. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Board Books - 484 pages - 978-0-671-68752-6
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