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Brown Posey Press Show -- Tory Gates interviews author Michael Barton

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Dr. Michael Barton is Professor Emeritus of American Studies and Social Science at Penn State Harrisburg, where he was also Director of the Center for Pennsylvania Culture Studies. He received his Ph.D. in American Civilization at the University of Pennsylvania in 1974. Barton is known for his writings, both popular and scholarly, on Harrisburg history. His local histories include Life by the Moving Road: An Illustrated History of Greater Harrisburg (American Historical Press, 2009), now in its third edition; Harrisburg’s Old Eighth Ward (Arcadia, 2002), which became the basis for “The Bloody 8th,” an original musical theater production; To a Harmony with Our Souls: A History of Jazz in Central Pennsylvania (Benchmark, 2005), a team project for which he was editor-in-chief; Citizen Extraordinaire: The Diplomatic Diaries of Vance McCormick in London and Paris, 1917-1919 (Stackpole, 2004), which involved over fifty student co-editors; Steelton, a photographic history co-authored with Prof. Simon Bronner; and Bellevue Park: The First Hundred Years, co-edited with Judge Jeannine Turgeon and other residents of that neighborhood. Most recently he and his students have edited Paul Beers’ writings, published as City Contented, City Discontented: A History of Modern Harrisburg. He has recently co-edited As the Paint Dries: The History of the Art Association of Harrisburg, and Along the Bethel Trail: The Journey of an African American Faith Community—Bethel AME Church of Harrisburg, 1835-2015. The digital local history research of Barton and his students can be seen at <old8thward.com> and <Journals of Charles Rawn>. The latter site, an on-going project, shows selections from the multi-volume diary kept from 1830 to 1865 by Charles Rawn, a Harrisburg defense attorney and anti-slavery activist. While in college, Barton won a prize for his stand-up comedy.

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