Piecework: Writings on Men & Women, Fools and Heroes, Lost Cities, Vanished Calamities and How the Weather Was

Piecework: Writings on Men & Women, Fools and Heroes, Lost Cities, Vanished Calamities and How the Weather Was

by Pete Hamill
     
 

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Veteran journalist Pete Hamill has never covered just politics. Or just sports. Or just the entertainment business, the mob, foreign affairs, social issues, the art world, or New York City. He has in fact written about all these subjects, and many more, in his years as a contributor to such national magazines as Esquire, Vanity Fair, and New York, and as a

Overview

Veteran journalist Pete Hamill has never covered just politics. Or just sports. Or just the entertainment business, the mob, foreign affairs, social issues, the art world, or New York City. He has in fact written about all these subjects, and many more, in his years as a contributor to such national magazines as Esquire, Vanity Fair, and New York, and as a columnist at the New York Post, the New York Daily News, the Village Voice, and other newspapers. Seasoned by more than thirty years as a New York newspaperman, Hamill writes on an extraordinarily wide variety of topics in powerful language that is personal, tough-minded, clearheaded, always provocative. Piecework is a rich and varied collection of Hamill's best writing since 1970, on such diverse subjects as what television and crack have in common, why winning isn't everything, stickball, Nicaragua, Donald Trump, why American immigration policy toward Mexico is all wrong, Brooklyn's Seventh Avenue, and Frank Sinatra, not to mention Octavio Paz, what it's like to realize you're middle-aged, Northern Ireland, New York City then and now, how Mike Tyson spent his time in prison, and much more. This collection proves him once again to be among the last of a dying breed: the old-school generalist, who writes about anything and everything, guided only by passionate and boundless curiosity. Piecework is Hamill at his very best.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hamill (A Drinking Life) reminds us that ``if reporters stick around long enough they learn that the guilty are sometimes innocent and the innocent probably have an angle,'' and so in this collection of his previously published essays, he casts a suspicious if not compassionate eye on life. He first tackles the Big Apple, and few are more eloquent in talking about the City of New York. Although he recognizes that ``Nostalgia is a treacherous emotion,'' there is plenty of it here, as he gives the reader wonderful reminiscences of Greenwich Village in the '50s and '60s; shows how the lack of jobs has caused the welfare state to explode (he points out that there are 1.3 million New Yorkers on welfare today, compared to 150,000 in 1955); laments the passing of the trolley car and misses the New York that preferred stickball to crack. And although he covers the world's trouble spots from Vietnam to Beirut to Belfast, the sustenance of this collection are the biographical sketches of such diverse characters as boxer Mike Tyson, Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez, Sinatra, mobster John Gotti, General Colin Powell and Jackie Gleason. Hamill has a decided love for the rogue, and the reader may wind up liking John Gotti better than Colin Powell. Hamill finishes with thoughtful pieces that dissect his own mortality-recently, for example, he was stricken with tuberculosis. A collection that shows why Hamill is a New York literary treasure. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Hamill, author of the best-selling memoir A Drinking Life (LJ 1/94), has selected some of his most successful essays for this collection. He began his career as a journalist 35 years ago at the New York Post and went on to write novels, screenplays, and magazine articles. These essays are opinionated, hard-hitting, passionate, and sometimes disturbing. Written for magazines ranging from Esquire to Art & Antiques, Hamill's writings show readers the decay of New York and other cities, the violence and heartbreak of Lebanon and Nicaragua, and the unraveling of civil life in many parts of our society. But he also includes compassionate portraits of some famous people and several informative travel articles. Recommended for journalism and essay collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/95.]-Rebecca Wondriska, Trinity Coll. Lib., Hartford, Ct.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316340984
Publisher:
Hachette Book Group
Publication date:
09/01/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

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