An Alternative History of Pittsburgh (pre-order)

By Ed Simon

"Simon tells the story of the city and all the changes that made it what it is today in a way that's entirely new, by the hand of someone who is deeply familiar. Simon shines a light on things often forgotten, and uncovers untold stories in the process."—Juliana Rose Pignataro, Newsweek's "21 Best Books to Read This Spring"

Shaped millions of years ago by the receding waters of a once great ocean, the land surrounding the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers has supported communities of humans for millennia. In the past four centuries, however, it has been transformed utterly and many times over by the people who call it home. In this brief, lyrical, and idiosyncratic new book, Ed Simon follows the story of America's furnace through a series of interconnected segments.

Ed Simon is an Editor-at-Large for The Marginalia Review of Books, a channel of The Los Angeles Review of Books, a contributing editor for the History News Network, and a staff writer at The Millions, which the New York Times has called the “indispensable literary site.” He is the author of several books, most recently  Furnace of this World; or, 36 Observations about Goodness. His essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The Paris Review Daily, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Poetry, McSweeney’s, Aeon, Jacobin, Salon, The New Republic and The New York Times among dozens of others.

More praise for An Alternative History of Pittsburgh:

"[A] rich and idiosyncratic history.... Simon marshals his historical snapshots into an incisive survey of the region and its inhabitants. Even Pittsburgh history buffs will learn something new."—Publishers Weekly

"An Alternative History of Pittsburgh is nothing short of an epic, a sprawling history of a city that is as complex and polyphonous as America itself. Simon, whose history with the city goes deep, serves as a brilliant guide to this terrain, traversing a network of intersecting stories with lyricism and novelistic verve, calling our attention to what has been forgotten and overlooked, and discovering the numinous where you'd least expect it. The book is at once a love letter, a reckoning, and an insurrection against familiar narratives about the Rust Belt, reminding us why this city and its history remain so urgent today."—Meghan O'Gieblyn, author of Interior States

APRIL 6, 2021 | ISBN: 9781948742924 | HISTORY | PAPERBACK | 5 X 7.25 | 176 PAGES