Annotated Bibliography-IS

1. Jacobs, Elizabeth T., PhD., Jefferey L. MD, and Mark B. Abbott PhD. “The Donora Smog Revisited: 70 Years After the Event that Inspired the Clean Air Act,” American Journal of Public Health 108, S2 (2018): S85-S88.

  • This piece, while also looking at the legacy of the Donora Smog, focuses on the long-term health and pollution consequences of the event. It gathers quantitative data on deaths from cancer and cardiovascular disease in the area from 1948 to 1957. Provides quantitative and health analysis that can be used in own project.

2. Magoc, Chris J. “Reflections on the Public Interpretation of Regional Environmental History in Western Pennsylvania,” The Public Historian 36, issue 3 (2014): 50-69.

  • This article is very rich in information about Western Pennsylvania’s relationship with its environment and environmental history, arguing that region is filled with histories that link to modern environmental concerns and can challenge the views of residents and visitors. It discusses the region’s relationship with this history, which is at times contentious and features a section on the work of the Donora Smog Museum. It sees public history as an important tool to bridge the present and past. This piece starts to look into public memory and public history in the region of interest, but I want to go more specific with only Donora.

3. Rothschild, Rachel Emma. “Creating a Global Pollution Problem.” In Poisonous Skies: Acid Rain and the Globalization of Pollution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019.

  • This book chapter looks at the construction of pollution, specifically air pollution, on the global scale – even noting the Donora Smog and other similar events as important moments in understanding smog and air pollution as an important environmental and health concern in the post-WW2 world. This provides me with larger, contextual insight to how air pollution and smog was regarded before and after the Donora Smog.

4. Snyder, Lynne Page. “’The Death-Dealing Smog over Donora, Pennsylvania’: Industrial Air Pollution, Public Health Policy, and Politics of Expertise, 1948-1949,” Environmental History Review 18, no. 1 (Spring 1994): pp. 117-139.

  • This piece looks at the historical legacy of the Donora Smog focusing on the impact it had on federal air pollution policy, power of corporations over local economies, and deployment of expert knowledge in legal cases. It provides me with the political legacy of the Donora Smog.

5. Steinberg, Theodore. Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America. Cary: Oxford University Press, 2000.

  • This book examines the consequences of governments and corporations using the argument “act of God” to refuse responsibility for disasters and refuse to acknowledge the human and societal factors that go into disasters and who is affected by them. Act of God was the defense used in the lawsuit after the incident and this will provide me more context for understanding this argument and its ramifications.