PEOPLE & OPINION

On a Pedestal: National Flag Foundation, Clarion Quartet

The National Flag Foundation — What’s in a symbol? One great thing about pittsburgh is that, as long as you may have lived here and made a study of the area, surprises always pop up to greet you. Case in point: Pittsburgh is home to the National Flag Foundation, a nonprofit that…

The Media Has It All Wrong

I mentioned last week that I recently visited Switzerland, Austria and Hungary, and that if we think things have gone nuts in the U.S., we have no idea.

Davis, Klausing, Donatelli, Lynch, Heinz, Sachs, McEachran, Scully, Sammartino

Nathan Davis, 81: Davis was director of jazz studies at the University of Pittsburgh and a pioneer in bringing jazz education into the mainstream. A tenor and soprano saxophone player, his 44-​year tenure at Pitt included creating the Pittsburgh Jazz Seminar, the Sonny Rollins International Jazz Archive, the International Academy…

Judith Hansen O’Toole, Art Lover

I was born in Minneapolis, one of four sisters. My father was a college professor who was finishing his Ph.D. in American studies at the University of Minnesota, after which he took a job at Penn State. So, I actually grew up in State College, and was a “faculty brat”…

The Hillbilly Saga: Conclusion

The bottom line of J. D. Vance’s book, “Hillbilly Elegy,” is that far too many people from southeastern Kentucky are trapped in a hillbilly culture that stands in the way of their own success. As if that weren’t bad enough, hillbillies are discriminated against because people aren’t willing to distinguish…

Albrecht, Kinne, Wildermuth, Behre, Suroviec, Sullivan, Chalikonda

Chuck Albrecht is the new executive director of the Persad Center, a licensed counseling center created to serve LGBT people. A native of Portsmouth, Ohio. Albrecht comes to Pittsburgh from Florida, where for the past 17 years he was chief operating officer at the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the…

How to React to a Hillbilly

Last week we tried to imagine how Professor Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize-​winning author of “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” would react if he saw a couple of hillbillies coming into his store. This week we’ll re-​look at that situation, pretending that Kahneman isn’t a Nobel Prize winning professor at all, but…

The Stubbornness of Culture

In 2013 J. D. Vance graduated from Yale Law School, an accomplishment he shared that year with the following fraction of his fellow Americans: 0.00000063.

Don’t Even Think About Crossing a Hillbilly

We’ve talked about several obstacles to success in middle class Ohio for migrants from southeastern Kentucky: they had horrible accents and they tended to dress funny. But the biggest obstacle was the most difficult to overcome: their behavior.

Don’t Dress Like a Hillbilly

Last week we discussed one of the major hurdles recent immigrants from southeastern Kentucky faced when they tried to assimilate into middle class society in Ohio: they talked like hillbillies. This week we’ll look at a second hurdle: the matter of dress.

Opining on Eponymy

It used to be you had to die to get your name etched in stone.

Kelleman, Fech, Kaminski, Thors, Bhattacharya, Crawley, Miller

Katharine Eagan Kelleman is the CEO of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, succeeding Ellen McLean. Kelleman comes to Pittsburgh from Tampa, Fla., where she led the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority and won that region’s 2016 Businesswoman of the Year Award for economic development.

The Inscrutable Foibles of Hillbilly Talk

Although the parallels between my life and that of J.D. Vance, author of “Hillbilly Elegy,” seem flat-​out astonishing, it’s actually the differences that are more interesting.

Why Were Pittsburgh’s Scots-​Irish So Successful?

If Malcolm Gladwell is right that the cultural legacy of the Scots-​Irish explains the poor outcomes experienced by people in southeastern Kentucky, how do we explain the exceptional success of these same people in Pittsburgh?

The Culture of the Scots-​Irish

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” –Peter Drucker (supposedly)
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