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Journeys to the Heart of Baltimore

Paperback
, 368 pages

25 halftones

ISBN:
9781421418452
June 2015
$29.95

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Journeys to the Heart of Baltimore

In Journeys to the Heart of Baltimore, veteran journalist Michael Olesker writes of Baltimore's melting pot in all its rollicking, sentimental, good-natured, and chaotic essence. The stories come from neighborhood street corners and front stoops, playgrounds and school rooms, churches and synagogues, and families gathered around late-night kitchen tables.

The D'Alesandro political dynasty comes to life here, and so do Lenny Moore and Artie Donovan of the legendary Baltimore Colts. The old East Baltimore ethnic enclaves nurture youngsters named Barbara Mikulski and Ted Venetoulis, and out of West Baltimore comes the future Afro-American newspaper publisher Jake Oliver.

Journeys to the Heart of Baltimore is a delightful reminder of the nation's ethnic and racial mosaic, home to a future governor named Martin O'Malley and a future U.S. Representative named Dutch Ruppersberger. Boys from Baltimore's Little Italy, like John Pica, go off to fight a war in Italy when they know their allegiance is being tested. And a city struggles through racial convulsions, remembered by those such as John Steadman and Father Constantine Sitaris.

Michael Olesker wrote a column for the Baltimore Sun for twenty-five years. He is the author of six previous books, including Michael Olesker's Baltimore: If You Live Here, You're Home, The Colts' Baltimore: A City and Its Love Affair in the 1950s, and Front Stoops in the Fifties: Baltimore Legends Come of Age.

"Olesker draws on Baltimore's diverse and often isolated and mutually hostile neighborhood, political and clerical tribes. He compiles a group portrait that is both sad and celebratory."

"A powerful tribute to our vast melting pot... Amid the rich metaphors and unique vernacular that are quintessentially Olesker, Baltimore's mosaic of religions and nationalities become one."

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