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Playing Through the Whistle : Steel, Football, and an American Town (Hardcover) (S. L. Price)
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Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, a small town twenty miles up the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, is famous for two things: the Jones & Laughlin Steel mill, an industrial behemoth that helped win World War II; and football, with a high school team that has produced numerous NFL stars including Mike Ditka and Darrelle Revis. But the mill, once the fourth largest producer in America, employer of over 15,000 people in a town of 26,000, started withering in the 1980s and closed for good in 2000. What happens to a town when a dream dies? Does it just disappear?In Aliquippa, celebrated sports writer S.L. Price tells the story of this remarkable place, its people, its players, and through it, a wider story of American history from the turn of the twentieth century. Aliquippa has been many thingsa rigidly controlled company town, a booming racial and ethnic melting pot, a battleground for union rights, and for a brief time, a sort of workers’ paradise. Price expertly traces this history, following the growth of industry and the struggles and triumphs of Eastern European immigrants and blacks from the south willing to trade their grueling labor for a better life for their families.Alongside, Price recounts the birth and development of high school sports, from a minor pastime to a source of civic pride, to today, when it can sometimes seem like the only way out of a life of poverty, drug abuse, and crime. And yet Aliquippa endures, churning out state champions, charismatic coaches, and legendary players. Aliquippa is sports writing at its best, a masterpiece of narrative journalism that will make you cry and cheer in equal measure.
Number of Pages: 550
Genre: Sports + Recreation, History
Author: S. L. Price
Street Date: October 4, 2016
Item Number (DPCI): 248-19-7632
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