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Out of This Furnace: A Novel of Immigrant…
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Out of This Furnace: A Novel of Immigrant Labor in America (original 1941; edição 1976)

por Thomas Bell, David P. Demarest (Posfácio)

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3711051,491 (3.55)16
Out of This Furnace is Thomas Bell's most compelling achievement.  Its story of three generations of an immigrant Slovak family -- the Dobrejcaks -- still stands as a fresh and extraordinary accomplishment. The novel begins in the mid-1880s with the naive blundering career of Djuro Kracha. It tracks his arrival from the old country as he walked from New York to White Haven, his later migration to the steel mills of Braddock, Pennsylvania, and his eventual downfall through foolish financial speculations and an extramarital affair. The second generation is represented by Kracha's daughter, Mary, who married Mike Dobrejcak, a steel worker. Their decent lives, made desperate by the inhuman working conditions of the mills, were held together by the warm bonds of their family life, and Mike's political idealism set an example for the children. Dobie Dobrejcak, the third generation, came of age in the 1920s determined not to be sacrificed to the mills. His involvement in the successful unionization of the steel industry climaxed a half-century struggle to establish economic justice for the workers. Out of This Furnace is a document of ethnic heritage and of a violent and cruel period in our history, but it is also a superb story. The writing is strong and forthright, and the novel builds constantly to its triumphantly human conclusion.… (mais)
Membro:thebigidea
Título:Out of This Furnace: A Novel of Immigrant Labor in America
Autores:Thomas Bell
Outros autores:David P. Demarest (Posfácio)
Informação:University of Pittsburgh Press (1976), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 424 pages
Colecções:New
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Cataloged, Contemporary Literature

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Out of This Furnace por Thomas Bell (1941)

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Out of this furnace by Bell_ Thomas
Starts out in 1880's and with the travel by foot George Kracha travels from NY to PA. He had other family members who could get him a job at the railroad...
His wife is sent over and she gets pregnant often and they live in a shanty.
Unions form so men can get paid what they are worth...interesting to hear of their struggles and how they overcome poverty and lack of work at times...
Generations of the family and how they lived and died.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device). ( )
  jbarr5 | Jan 27, 2017 |
Back in the late 1990s, in the days of my ABDhood, I used to hunt for syllabi for courses in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Many of these syllabi required or recommended Thomas Bell's Out of this Furnace. Totally unfamiliar with this title, I decided it must be fairly new and with it being so esteemed I placed it on my reading list. For some reason Out of This Furnace proved very difficult to locate. Several libraries I visited listed it in the catalog but a copy could not be found on the shelf. Two months ago to my great surprise I found a copy at Barnes and Noble. First, I have to admit I had no idea it was a fictional account of Slovak family through three generations, which is why I stared at it for a couple of minutes thinking what is this doing here? Second, I was surprised to find out that it was written in 1941.

I can't say I really enjoyed Out of This Furnace. Even though I can believe that immigrant life in the steel towns of late nineteenth and early twentieth century was as bleak as Bell depicts it, I have to think there were still moments of happiness and joyful events. What I really took away from the book as an historian is the way the different generations related to life in America. The first generation seemed content to work and isolate themselves. Coming from a fractured Austro-Hungarian Empire, it only seemed natural for them to withdraw into themselves and forego learning English or making any attempt to assimilate into the larger culture of which they remained largely suspicious. The second generation wanted to fit in, but were not welcomed. They learned English, attended schools, but were derided as "Hunkies". Conscious of otherness, they felt stuck between two worlds - wanting to be Americans but not accepted as such. Finally, the third generation demanded a piece of the pie and felt comfortable using American methods to attain it. The triumph of the third generation in winning labor reform clearly votes for FDR.

From my blog: http://gregshistoryblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/out-of-this-furnace.html ( )
  gregdehler | Aug 24, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book more than most school books. It was easy to read, and easy to relate to the people in the book. ( )
  LaurinLooLoo | Apr 1, 2013 |
A very good book to read to get a very strong feel for what life was like for immigrants in the US. ( )
  OnwardToOurPast | Nov 16, 2012 |
NPR recently had news segment on the literature of the conservative movement and they asked the question why there was not a similar lexicon for liberals. If there were this would be the first title on that list. This is a statement of the raison d'etra of labor unions and as a result a history of the development of the things American's love the most - the 5 day work week, the 8-hour day, etc. Things that most of us can't imagine living without. This book is a novelized form of the history of the labor movement.

The novel was originally published in 1941 by Thomas Bell who was born into a multi-generational Slovak steel mill family. It starts with one Slovak immigrant who comes to the U. S. in the 1880's and ends up working in the steel mills of the Monongahela River valley in Pennsylvania. From there it continues to tell the story through three generations of steel workers in the same family. It is an indictment of the conditions and practices of the steel magnates who repressed the formation of labor unions. While at its heart it is a labor union history, the book also raises many issues ranging from the drudge like life of the women in the novel, to the use of epitaphs to describe various immigrant groups, to the environmental damage that was done in the name of progress and industry. The novel has a message and at points I am sure that some would think it is didactic, but the author makes no apology for his views and confronts the reader who might have a differing opinion head-on.

This novel was recommended to me by my father. He learned of it from some of his Czech Club buddies because they felt it addresses many of the immigrant issues of the day. ( )
  benitastrnad | Aug 16, 2012 |
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George Kracha came to America in the fall of 1881, by way of Budapest and Bremen.
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Out of This Furnace is Thomas Bell's most compelling achievement.  Its story of three generations of an immigrant Slovak family -- the Dobrejcaks -- still stands as a fresh and extraordinary accomplishment. The novel begins in the mid-1880s with the naive blundering career of Djuro Kracha. It tracks his arrival from the old country as he walked from New York to White Haven, his later migration to the steel mills of Braddock, Pennsylvania, and his eventual downfall through foolish financial speculations and an extramarital affair. The second generation is represented by Kracha's daughter, Mary, who married Mike Dobrejcak, a steel worker. Their decent lives, made desperate by the inhuman working conditions of the mills, were held together by the warm bonds of their family life, and Mike's political idealism set an example for the children. Dobie Dobrejcak, the third generation, came of age in the 1920s determined not to be sacrificed to the mills. His involvement in the successful unionization of the steel industry climaxed a half-century struggle to establish economic justice for the workers. Out of This Furnace is a document of ethnic heritage and of a violent and cruel period in our history, but it is also a superb story. The writing is strong and forthright, and the novel builds constantly to its triumphantly human conclusion.

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