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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Images of America: Dunmore is a nonfiction historical book written by Stephanie Longo. Longo has been the Dunmore municipal beat reporter for Go Lackawanna, a position she admits some journalists dread. For her, however, the assignment has enabled her to trace her family’s hometown since her ancestors settled there in 1927 down to its founding, and to chart the growth of the town since 1754 when ownership of the land on which it sits was transferred to the Susquehanna Company of Connecticut by the Delaware tribe. Longo shares stories about the history of many of the businesses in the area, shining a spotlight on restaurants, some of which are still operating to this day. Likewise, she traces the development of the first public school systems in Dunmore and the many Catholic schools which served the Catholic residents whose families, like hers, emigrated from Italy, Ireland, Poland, and other parts of Europe. She also describes the town’s festivities marking its 150th anniversary in 2012. Longo provides archival maps and documents as well as numerous photographs celebrating her historic hometown.
Stephanie Longo’s Images of America: Dunmore offers readers an opportunity to learn about American history as seen from the perspective of one town in Pennsylvania. I loved learning about the area and getting a feeling for the living history that Dunmore embodies. Longo’s work is beautifully written and presented, and her inclusion of numerous photos makes the journey she shares even more fascinating. I especially loved her presentation on the 1962 anniversary festivities. While the historical photos are compelling, the recent nature of this celebration strikes a chord of immediacy that was the perfect capping point for the historical narrative. The reader is brought from the dim recesses of the past right into the present, and it’s quite marvelous to see. Images of America: Dunmore is highly recommended.