Press Coverage:

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
11/19/08

Reviews of The Point of Pittsburgh

“Charlie McCollester has an advanced degree in philosophy; he was chief steward at Union Switch & Signal in Swissvale; and for many years he has taught trade unionists at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Drawing on all these experiences, this book tells us that the future of Pittsburgh should not be left in the hands of the rich. The future of Pittsburgh belongs in the hands of the working men and women who made it great to begin with.”
Staughton Lynd, attorney, activist, author
Lucasville; Rank and File; The Fight Against Shutdowns

“Pittsburgh, to me, has always been one of the cities in America that tells the story of America, from the times of Native Americans, the pioneers, the boatmen, the immigrants, the men and women of the iron and steel industries — the work and the sweat, the injuries and the deaths — that, in one way or another, built Pittsburgh and, in substantial ways, built this country. The excellent historian Charles McCollester has painstakingly assembled a new — and different — history of Pittsburgh, and by so doing has assembled in a remarkable way a history of this country. This is a history of ordinary people — of men and women, blacks and whites — not just alleged great white men — and of the men and women of the American labor movement — who created the fascinating city of Pittsburgh and did so much to create this country. I applaud Mr. McCollester’s efforts, and its product, enormously, for this is a history that has not been written before. I urge Pittsburghers — and Americans — to read it.”
William Serrin, author
Homestead: The Glory and the Tragedy of an American Steel Town. 

“Mr. McCollester’s excellent book is a welcome and needed treatment of the genesis and flowering of the labor movement in Pittsburgh. It is a rich and colorful presentation that all Pittsburghers should read and be proud of.”
James English, Secretary-Treasurer
United Steelworkers

“To our good fortune, McCollester spurns the Great Man theory of history in telling this colorful, vigorous story of Pittsburgh’s rise to industrial pre-eminence. Liberated from the dominating shadows of Carnegie, Frick, Mellon, Westinghouse and other corporate leaders, the ordinary
men and women who built and labored in mills, factories, mines, and offices are McCollester’s heroes and heroines. The great businessmen receive their due, but this book for
the first time records two centuries of struggles by working people (and their unions) to find dignity and justice in what amounted to a revolutionary industrial system.”
John Hoerr, author
And the Wolf Finally Came; Harry, Tom and Father Rice

red star

“McCollester’s History of Pittsburgh is the book many of us have long hoped for—a concise, lively, wide-ranging history of the city that provides the context and background for our own specialized studies. It will help inform future studies by myself and others. And I can’t wait to assign it to students in my History of Black Pittsburgh course.”
Larry Glasco, professor
History Department, University of Pittsburgh

“At long last, here is a people’s history of Pittsburgh—in the spirit of Howard Zinn—that flips the stock storyline of the steel city on its head. Here are Pittsburgh stories that you never read in your high school textbooks. McCollester masterfully chronicles the struggles of Native Americans,
African Americans, women, and laborers of all nationalities as they wrestle with the point of Pittsburgh and try to claim a fair share. His narrative is a welcome corrective to the gloss of standard accounts, corporate and paternalistic. It will inspire readers to want to know more—especially what happened after 1960, when this volume ends.”
Peter Oresick, poet
Chatham University

“The Point of Pittsburgh” is a must-read labor history text book for working women and men, and young people, alike. Charles McCollester paddles you through the three rivers telling stories of union struggles, the rank and file and leaders, athletes, musicians, artists, and those in control of industry and money. All of McCollester’s stories have been painstakingly documented, so if you would like to follow up to learn more about a particular Pittsburgh event or person, follow in Charles McCollester’s wake with his extensive Index and Bibliography!
Rosemary Trump, president
Pennsylvania Labor History Society