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BOARDING THE WESTBOUND
Journey of a Depression-era Hobo
by Joseph Szalanski

"This unique book is both a history and a testament. As a history it covers the era of the Depression and the unfolding effect of the early twentieth century immigrations on American society, the labor movement and the generation that followed. Joseph Szalanski is a spokesman for that generation. The testament is a hobo-diary painstakingly written day by day by his father—a man who lived the Depression and lived through it. Together the history and the testament (plus a select gathering of photographs) give us a portrait of an era that is as central to American life as it is incomparable and unforgettable."

— Samuel Hazo
Director of the International Poetry Forum

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joseph D. Szalanski-a lifelong resident of Vandergrift, graduated from Vandergrift High School and earned degrees from Holy Cross College and the University of Chicago. After working for some of Pittsburgh’s major industrial firms, he formed his own small company that concentrated in helping the unemployed either re-enter the labor force or enter it for the first time. The company worked with a diverse clientele that ranged from white collar workers to displaced Kentucky coal miners and Pennsylvanian steel workers to long-term welfare recipients in our inner-cities. Now retired, he remains interested and involved in the plight of the urban poor, having written several unpublished papers for agencies that deal with the problems and prospects of this segment of our population.

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