2009 Title » Social History
The Paris of Appalachia: Pittsburgh in the Twenty-First Century
This isn't so much a history of Pittsburgh as it is a biography. Sometimes we're so afraid of what others think, we're afraid to declare who we are. This city is not midwestern. It's not East Coast. It's just Pittsburgh, and there's no place like it. That's both its blessing and its curse.
Brian O'Neill has been a newspaper columnist in Pittsburgh for more than twenty years. He is a winner of the Associated Press Managing Editors of Pennsylvania Award for column writing and the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers' Keystone Award for column writing, as well as a winner of regional honors. A graduate of Syracuse University, O'Neill lives on the city's North Side with his wife, Betsy, and daughters, Curran and Clare.
Brian O'Neill is a wonderful writer. He analyzes perfectly Pittsburgh's unerring habit of screwing itself. He loves all the right stuff. I loved his book.
—Annie Dillard, Pulitzer Prize winner and Pittsburgh native
Every city needs a loving interpreter who tells the stories that go to its heart and soul and shape its identity. Pittsburgh is lucky to have Brian O'Neill who revels in city life and is alert to the city's maddening insecurities. All of us who love Pittsburgh and think it should shape up immediately will enjoy and identify with this wonderful book.
—Peter Leo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Columnist
Like a great conversation on a Pittsburgh tavern barstool. With sympathy and humor, but also with realism and facts, O'Neill captures the essence of my hometown. The region long ago lost its industrial preeminence, and, as O'Neill explains, has been abused by politicians and planners for decades. And yet, almost miraculously, Pittsburgh's unique culture—and yes, dramatic beauty—are more vivid and inspiring than ever. So are the funny, unassuming, self-critical and brave citizens whom O'Neill portrays. They are the real reasons why Pittsburgh will always be Pittsburgh.
—Howard Fineman, Newsweek Columnist and NBC News Analyst
Brian has written a lovely paean to Pittsburgh; that is: a joyously exultant song or hymn of praise, tribute, thanksgiving, or triumph. Pittsburghers should read it; they will find themselves in it. Prospective Pittsburghers should read it; they will find a depiction of soul that eludes the real estate agents.
—Paul O'Neill, former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Alcoa Chairman
Brian O'Neill truly appreciates what this city is, scars and all. This is a terrific book. This guy gets it.
—Michael Keaton, actor and Pittsburgh native
To purchase The Paris of Appalachia: Pittsburgh in the Twenty-First Century by Brian O'Neill, please contact our distributor, University Press of New England toll free at 1-800-421-1561 or by fax at 1-603-448-9729. The book is also available online at UPNE, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine retailers.
To request a copy for review, please contact the Carnegie Mellon University Press Editorial Offices at (412) 268-2861 or by email at CarnegieMellonUniversityPress@gmail.com.