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Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology

Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology

Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology
Edited by Jacqueline Marino and Will Miller
Belt Publishing, 2015


Thirty years ago, Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson sealed the story of Youngstown in amber with Journey to Nowhere, their 1985 masterwork on the new American underclass, as exemplified by the ex-steelworkers of the Mahoning Valley. But with Car Bombs to Cookie Tables, editors Jacqueline Marino and Will Miller bring that story back to life.

From their introduction: “Don’t be fooled by the cover; this book is not about Youngstown’s industrial past. Don’t be fooled by the title; this book is not about Youngstown crime or nostalgia. This is a book about Youngstown experiences, told by the people who lived them. … There is no definitive Youngstown experience expressed here because there is no definitive Youngstown experience. There are only experiences: love, hardship, hang-ups, defeat, joy, kindness, devotion — you will find all of these and more. This is a book about life as it was, is, and will be lived in the Mahoning Valley.”

Contributors include: Christopher Barzak, Rochelle Hunt, Eric Murphy, Ed O’Neill, Sarah Stepanek, David Skolnick, Sarah Stankorb, C Lee Tressell, Jay Williams, Andrea Wood, and many others.

Jacqueline Marino is an associate professor of journalism at Kent State University. Her essays and articles have appeared in many publications, including Cleveland Magazine, The Plain Dealer, The Christian Science Monitor, and River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative. She is the author of White Coats: Three Journeys Through an American Medical School (Kent State University Press, 2012). A graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School, she grew up in Boardman.

Will Miller is director of institutional research and effectiveness at Flagler College, where he also teaches in political science and public administration. His essays and articles have largely been published in academic journals prior to this endeavor. He is the author of Tea Party Effects on 2010 U.S. Elections, The Political Battle Over Congressional Redistricting, The 2012 Nomination and the Future of the Republican Party, Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Political Issues (19th ed.), and Campaign Craft (4th ed.). He graduated from Austintown Fitch.

Praise for Car Bombs to Cookie Tables

“The city’s corrupt and bullet-riddled history and its post-industrial struggle have made Youngstown notorious. But what sometimes gets drowned out in this deluge of words are the stories of actual Youngstowners. In a new book titled “Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology,” residents share the moments that define the city in a series of essays, profiles, poems and photographs.”

“Over the last 35 years, this city has been the subject of a multitude of documentaries, international news features, academic studies, psychological profiles and political analyses – most of them concentrating on the region’s struggle to survive in the wake of the destabilization caused by the retrenchment of the steel industry. Or, these stories focused on the notorious – the web of organized crime, scandal and corruption that infected the region’s political system. While all of these subplots command a major role in the story of Youngstown, they’re not the entire story. That’s where From Car Bombs to Cookie Tables: The Youngstown Anthology fills the gaps.”
Business Journal

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6 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    February 12, 2015

    I live in France, you all going to put this on Amazon or one of the other online stores?


    • Avatar
      February 12, 2015

      We will list it on Amazon a few weeks after the book publishes. We can send books internationally; send an email to Erin at to request.


  2. Avatar
    February 20, 2015

    Hmmm. My plan had been to submit an interview of Maurice Clarett for this anthology, and he never got back to me – and now I know why! This looks like a great list of stories.


  3. Avatar
    May 07, 2015

    Just ordered the book. Move to Y-town at a very young age. Moved away in my 40’s but always go home. I do my food, friends and family tour and cannot get enough of all of them. No matter where you go in this world there is always a Youngstown connection. Govy’s piece on where you’re from has to be a must read.


    • Avatar
      February 08, 2016

      You’ve maegand a first class post


  4. Avatar
    August 03, 2017

    I grew up in Youngstown and left in 1990 after graduating from Youngstown State. I had a patient come into my office today who recently attended a Youngstown wedding at Our Lady of Mount Carmel where I was married in 1999 (I had to go back to Youngstown to get married). The first thing she asked me was “What is up with the cookie table?” Only in Youngstown. David Grace


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