The Baltimore Book

New Views of Local History


Baltimore has a long, colorful history that traditionally has been focused on famous men, social elites, and patriotic events. The Baltimore Book is both a history of "the other Baltimore" and a tour guide to places in the city that are important to labor, African American, and women's history. The book grew out of a popular local bus tour conducted by public historians, the People's History Tour of Baltimore, that began in 1982. This book records and adds sites to that tour; provides maps, photographs, and contemporary documents; and includes interviews with some of the uncelebrated people whose experiences as Baltimoreans reflect more about the city than Francis Scott Key ever did.

The tour begins at the B&O Railroad Station at Camden Yards, site of the railroad strike of 1877, moves on to Hampden-Woodbury, the mid-19th century cotton textile industry's company town, and stops on the way to visit Evergreen House and to hear the narratives of ex-slaves. We travel to Old West Baltimore, the late 19th-century center of commerce and culture for the African American community; Fells Point; Sparrows Point; the suburbs; Federal Hill; and Baltimore's "renaissance" at Harborplace. Interviews with community activists, civil rights workers, Catholic Workers, and labor union organizers bring color and passion to this historical tour. Specific labor struggles, class and race relations, and the contributions of women to Baltimore's development are emphasized at each stop.

In the series Critical Perspectives on the Past, edited by Susan Porter Benson, Stephen Brier, and Roy Rosenzweig.

  • Temple University Press; August 2010
  • ISBN 9781439901731
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: The Baltimore Book
  • Author: Linda Shopes
  • Imprint: Temple University Press

In The Press

"[The] authors infuse the city and its history with life.... [Readers] will emerge with an uncommonly complete picture of the character of Baltimore and its people." —Nancy Brennan, Executive Director, Baltimore City Life Museums

"The Baltimore Book tells the story of the real people of Baltimore—the true fabric of the city. These are the courageous individuals who fought for their right to work, and fought for their right to buy a home and live where they chose. Their goals and their struggle to achieve those goals is the real story of how a city grows." —Barbara A. Mikulski, United States Senator from Maryland

"...'must' reading for anyone who wishes to develop a comprehensive view of the city's history in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries...." —Robert J. Brugger, Editor, Maryland Historical Magazine

About The Author

Linda Shopes is Associate Historian at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.