Portraits in Steel


Winner of the Oral History Association Book Prize

In stock


Photographs by Milton Rogovin
Interviews by Michael Frisch
Cornell University Press

This powerful book documents–in images and words–the unsettling experience of a dozen men and women workers who lost their jobs in the steel mills of Buffalo, New York, and then had to fashion new lives for themselves. It is the fruit of a collaboration between the celebrated documentary photographer Milton Rogovin and Michael Frisch, who is a leading figure in American oral history.

In the late 1970s, Rogobin shot a series of highly esteemed portraits of Buffalo steelworkers, pairing photographs of each worker taken on the job with photographs posed by the worker at home. In the mid-1980s, after the Buffalo steel industry had collapsed, he took follow-up portraits of these workers, who were now “deindustrialized.” This time he was joined by Frisch, who recorded interviews with them, and in some cases, with their spouses and families. The workers describe what it was like to work in the steel mills, and they speak about the changes in their lives, some with anger and despair, others with acceptance and hope.

Additional information

Weight 33.8 oz
Dimensions 10.25 × 8.5 × 1 in



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