Steel Drivin Man

Author: Scott Reynolds Nelson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195341198
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The story of John Henry, the mighty railroad man who has become a towering figure in American culture, is told in this portrait of the most recorded folk song in American history.

Steel Drivin Man

Author: Scott Reynolds Nelson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199741144
Format: PDF
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The ballad "John Henry" is the most recorded folk song in American history and John Henry--the mighty railroad man who could blast through rock faster than a steam drill--is a towering figure in our culture. In Steel Drivin' Man, Scott Reynolds Nelson recounts the true story of the man behind the iconic American hero, telling the poignant tale of a young Virginia convict who died working on one of the most dangerous enterprises of the time, the first rail route through the Appalachian Mountains. Using census data, penitentiary reports, and railroad company reports, Nelson reveals how John Henry, victimized by Virginia's notorious Black Codes, was shipped to the infamous Richmond Penitentiary to become prisoner number 497, and was forced to labor on the mile-long Lewis Tunnel for the C&O railroad. Equally important, Nelson masterfully captures the life of the ballad of John Henry, tracing the song's evolution from the first printed score by blues legend W. C. Handy, to Carl Sandburg's use of the ballad to become the first "folk singer," to the upbeat version by Tennessee Ernie Ford. Attractively illustrated with numerous images, Steel Drivin' Man offers a marvelous portrait of a beloved folk song--and a true American legend.

Steel Drivin Man

Author: Scott Reynolds Nelson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198041047
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
The ballad "John Henry" is the most recorded folk song in American history and John Henry--the mighty railroad man who could blast through rock faster than a steam drill--is a towering figure in our culture. In Steel Drivin' Man, Scott Reynolds Nelson recounts the true story of the man behind the iconic American hero, telling the poignant tale of a young Virginia convict who died working on one of the most dangerous enterprises of the time, the first rail route through the Appalachian Mountains. Using census data, penitentiary reports, and railroad company reports, Nelson reveals how John Henry, victimized by Virginia's notorious Black Codes, was shipped to the infamous Richmond Penitentiary to become prisoner number 497, and was forced to labor on the mile-long Lewis Tunnel for the C&O railroad. Equally important, Nelson masterfully captures the life of the ballad of John Henry, tracing the song's evolution from the first printed score by blues legend W. C. Handy, to Carl Sandburg's use of the ballad to become the first "folk singer," to the upbeat version by Tennessee Ernie Ford. Attractively illustrated with numerous images, Steel Drivin' Man offers a marvelous portrait of a beloved folk song--and a true American legend.

A Nation of Deadbeats

Author: Scott Reynolds Nelson
Publisher: Vintage Books
ISBN: 0307474321
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The story of America is a story of dreamers and defaulters. and It is also a story of dramatic financial panics that defined the nation, created its political parties, and forced tens of thousands to escape their creditors to new towns in Texas, Florida, and California.and As far back as 1792, these panics boiled down to one simple question: Would Americans pay their debtsandmdash;or were we just a nation of deadbeats? From the merchant William Duerandrsquo;s attempts to speculate on postandndash;Revolutionary War debt, to an ill-conceived 1815 plan to sell English coats to Americans on credit, to the debt-fueled railroad expansion that precipitated the Panic of 1857, Scott Reynolds Nelson offers a crash course in Americaandrsquo;s worst financial disastersandmdash;and a concise explanation of the first principles that caused them all. Nelson shows how consumer debt, both at the highest levels of finance and in the everyday lives of citizens, has time and again left us unable to make good. The problem always starts with the chain of banks, brokers, moneylenders, and insurance companies that separate borrowers and lenders. and At a certain point lenders cannot tell good loans from badandmdash;and when chits are called in, lenders frantically try to unload the debts, hide from their own creditors, go into bankruptcy, and lobby state and federal institutions for relief. With a historianandrsquo;s keen observations and a storytellerandrsquo;s nose for character and incident, Nelson captures the entire sweep of Americaandrsquo;s financial history in all its utter irrationality: national banks funded by smugglers; fistfights in Congress over the gold standard; and presidential campaigns forged in stinging controversies on the subject of private debt. A Nation of Deadbeats is a fresh, irreverent look at Americansandrsquo; addiction to debt and how it has made us what we are today.and

Ain t Nothing But a Man My Quest to Find the Real John Henry Large Print 16pt

Author: Marc Aronson
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant
ISBN: 9781459676107
Format: PDF
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Who was the real John Henry? The story of this legendary African - American figure has come down to us in so many songs, stories, and plays, that the facts are often lost. Historian Scott Nelson brings John Henry alive for young readers in his personal quest for the ''''true story'''' of the man behind the myth. Nelson presents the famous folk song as a mystery to be unraveled, identifying the embedded clues within the lyrics, which he examines to uncover many surprising truths. He investigates the legend and reveals the real John Henry in this beautifully illustrated book. Nelson's narrative is multilayered, interweaving the story of the building of the railroads, the period of Reconstruction, folk tales, American mythology, and an exploration of the tradition of work songs and their evolution into blues and rock and roll. This is also the story of the author's search for the flesh - and - blood man who became an American folk hero; Nelson gives a first - person account of how the historian works, showing history as a process of discovery. Readers rediscover an African - American folk hero. We meet John Henry, the man who worked for the railroad, driving steel spikes. When the railroad threatens to replace workers with a steam - powered hammer, John Henry bets that he can drive the beams into the ground faster than the machine. He wins the contest, but dies in the effort. Nelson's vibrant text, combined with archival images, brings a new perspective and focus to the life and times of this American legend.

A People at War

Author: Scott Reynolds Nelson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199725977
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Claiming more than 600,000 lives, the American Civil War had a devastating impact on countless numbers of common soldiers and civilians, even as it brought freedom to millions. This book shows how average Americans coped with despair as well as hope during this vast upheaval. A People at War brings to life the full humanity of the war's participants, from women behind their plows to their husbands in army camps; from refugees from slavery to their former masters; from Mayflower descendants to freshly recruited Irish sailors. We discover how people confronted their own feelings about the war itself, and how they coped with emotional challenges (uncertainty, exhaustion, fear, guilt, betrayal, grief) as well as physical ones (displacement, poverty, illness, disfigurement). The book explores the violence beyond the battlefield, illuminating the sharp-edged conflicts of neighbor against neighbor, whether in guerilla warfare or urban riots. The authors travel as far west as China and as far east as Europe, taking us inside soldiers' tents, prisoner-of-war camps, plantations, tenements, churches, Indian reservations, and even the cargo holds of ships. They stress the war years, but also cast an eye at the tumultuous decades that preceded and followed the battlefield confrontations. An engrossing account of ordinary people caught up in life-shattering circumstances, A People at War captures how the Civil War rocked the lives of rich and poor, black and white, parents and children--and how all these Americans pushed generals and presidents to make the conflict a people's war.

Working Detroit

Author: Steve Babson
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
ISBN: 9780814318195
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A standard reference for understanding labor history, connects the history of working people and unions with the history of the civil rights movement.

Coal Class and Color

Author: Joe William Trotter
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252061196
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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How were southern black transformed rural agricultural workers into members of the industrial working class? Joe William Trotter, Jr., examines the unique experience of black coal miners in southern West Virginia between World War l. an the Great Depression, showing how the subtle interplay of race, class, and region altered black people personal and collective existence

Union Heartland

Author: Ginette Aley
Publisher: SIU Press
ISBN: 0809332655
Format: PDF
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The Civil War has historically been viewed somewhat simplistically as a battle between the North and the South. Southern historians have broadened this viewpoint by revealing the “many Souths” that made up the Confederacy, but the “North” has remained largely undifferentiated as a geopolitical term. In this welcome collection, seven Civil War scholars offer a unique regional perspective on the Civil War by examining how a specific group of Northerners—Midwesterners, known as Westerners and Middle Westerners during the 1860s—experienced the war on the home front. Much of the intensifying political and ideological turmoil of the 1850s played out in the Midwest and instilled in its people a powerful sense of connection to this important drama. The 1850 federal Fugitive Slave Law and highly visible efforts to recapture former bondsmen and women who had escaped; underground railroad “stations” and supporters throughout the region; publication of Ohioan Harriet Beecher Stowe’s widely-influential and best-selling Uncle Tom’s Cabin; the controversial Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854; the murderous abolitionist John Brown, who gained notoriety and hero status attacking proslavery advocates in Kansas; the emergence of the Republican Party and Illinoisan Abraham Lincoln—all placed the Midwest at the center of the rising sectional tensions. From the exploitation of Confederate prisoners in Ohio to wartime college enrollment in Michigan, these essays reveal how Midwestern men, women, families, and communities became engaged in myriad war-related activities and support. Agriculture figures prominently in the collection, with several scholars examining the agricultural power of the region and the impact of the war on farming, farm families, and farm women. Contributors also consider student debates and reactions to questions of patriotism, the effect of the war on military families’ relationships, issues of women’s loyalty and deference to male authority, as well as the treatment of political dissent and dissenters. Bringing together an assortment of home front topics from a variety of fresh perspectives, this collection offers a view of the Civil War that is unabashedly Midwestern.

Iron Confederacies

Author: Scott Reynolds Nelson
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807876100
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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During Reconstruction, an alliance of southern planters and northern capitalists rebuilt the southern railway system using remnants of the Confederate railroads that had been built and destroyed during the Civil War. In the process of linking Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia by rail, this alliance created one of the largest corporations in the world, engendered bitter political struggles, and transformed the South in lasting ways, says Scott Nelson. Iron Confederacies uses the history of southern railways to explore linkages among the themes of states' rights, racial violence, labor strife, and big business in the nineteenth-century South. By 1868, Ku Klux Klan leaders had begun mobilizing white resentment against rapid economic change by asserting that railroad consolidation led to political corruption and black economic success. As Nelson notes, some of the Klan's most violent activity was concentrated along the Richmond-Atlanta rail corridor. But conflicts over railroads were eventually resolved, he argues, in agreements between northern railroad barons and Klan leaders that allowed white terrorism against black voters while surrendering states' control over the southern economy.