Synopses & Reviews
Knute "Skip" Berger is one of the most recognized commentators on politics, culture, business, and life in the Pacific Northwest. Hes the Mike Royko/Jimmy Breslin of this part of the country. As Timothy Egan describes him in the Foreword to Pugetopolis, he is the regions "crank with a conscience…a contrarian" thinker who calls out the folly and hubris of mayors, governors, presidents, and gazillionaires. In his signature Mossback column, which ran for years in the Seattle Weekly and now on Crosscut.com, Knute Berger comments on politics (the 50-year odyssey of mass transit), cultural matters (we got art out here in the provinces), the big natural world (whats left of it), enterprise (as in the Microsoft-Starbucks Industrial Complex), and odd local behavior (car-less living that allows mooching rides). As a third-generation Seattle native, he has the perspective to take the long view, so he knows there was a life without jackasses on jet ski, bear attacks in the suburbs, and not so many millionaires. Gathered in Pugetopolis are Knute Bergers best commentaries that provide grist for anyones mental mill who wants to understand why the Pacific Northwest is a quirky place that is sometimes too liberal for its own good; strangely conservative at other times; blindly does the bidding of the richest guy around so he can make even more money; and is able to jump on the bandwagon of one dumb pubic-works fiasco after another. And then we complain about the rain like its some new form of insult. You gotta love this place—warts and all. Berger shows you how with this sharp-witted and observant book.
"Every city needs a Knute Berger." Seattle Weekly,
January 13, 2009
"Regardless of one's age, or how long they have lived here, Pugetopolisis a worthwhile book full of insight into our region.." Tacoma Weekly January 8, 2009
Hes neither old-school nor new-school, which is to say hes fad-resistant. The most overused, most sought-after word in modern American life? Authentic! Thats Mossbackthe alter ego hes used for his columns of the last half-dozen years.”
Timothy Egan, from the Foreword
"Seattle's easy to love. But if you want to make sense of the place, read Pugetopolis. Earthy, organicKnute Berger is Seattle's moss-covered soul." Bill Radke, host, Weekend America
Berger writes of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest with the intimate knowledge of a deep, lifelong insider who is also an instinctive skeptic and a mordant humorist. Pugetopolis is indispensablea book that contains within its pages the beating heart of this city, its quarrels and conversations with itself, its dreamlife, its flights of braggadocio. Reflective and funny by turns, Mossback has opened Seattle's subconscious to public view.Jonathan Raban, author of Waxwings
Knute "Skip" Berger's trenchant commentaries in his "Mossback" column for Seattle Weekly, and now Crosscut.com, have made him one of the most popular and prickly figures in Seattle journalism. This book collects the best of those columns on politics, culture, enterprise, and odd local behavior. For anyone who wants to understand the Pacific Northwest through the gimlet eye of Seattle's own crank with a conscience,” this is a must-read.
About the Author
Knute Berger, former editor of Seattle Weekly and founding editor of Washington Monthly, also writes Washington Law and Politics and Seattle magazine. Both he and Timothy Egan, author of The Worst Hard Time, live in Seattle.