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Sparrows Point: An American Steel Story

  • What does the story of Sparrows Point have to teach us today? What lessons are worth remembering as we look ahead to an uncertain economic future? This episode, we look at the shift from manufacturing to distribution jobs, the decline of unions, and the pitfalls of nostalgia.
  • By the mid-20th century, Bethlehem Steel was the biggest steel company in the US. It was an industrial giant that seemed too powerful to fail. But in 2001, it declared bankruptcy, decimating retirees’ pensions and health benefits. In this episode, we examine how the empire collapsed, and we bear witness to the aftermath.
  • Back in the third episode of this series (Hard Fought Negotiations), we introduced you to Eddie Bartee, Jr. and after he heard the episode, he got in back in touch to share some feedback. In this bonus episode, we hop on the phone with Mr. Bartee for a candid conversation about what’s been said – and what hasn’t been said – in our telling of the Sparrows Point story so far
  • In the 1970s, Bethlehem Steel was forced by a federal consent decree to start hiring women in all operational departments, and at Sparrows Point, a brave…
  • A unionized workforce was never part of the original plan at Sparrows Point. Neither was racial equity.
  • How did a swampy peninsula on the Patapsco River get picked as the site for a revolutionary, state-of-the-art steel mill? What was it like to live and…
  • From the labor gang to the blast furnace, the open hearth to the shipyard, the plate mill to the 68 hot strip mill, what was it like to walk into Sparrows…
  • Sparrows Point is a story of capitalism, labor unions, race, gender, civil rights, pride, and hubris. It’s the story of American steel. Get a preview of…