These stories are specific to one legendary riverfront plateau and one boy's journey, but are emblematic of immigrant life and blue-collar aspirations during the heyday of American industry and its crash, foreshadowing one of the largest internal migrations in US history.
Approximately six million baby boomers, like the narrator, fled the Rust Belt. Another six million remained and stories of their youth, struggles, and aspirations echo throughout this book. Pittsburgh alone attracts die-hard affinity with its scattered natives.
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