William Kennedy's celebrated cycle of novels has put Albany on the literary map. In this marvelous book, Kennedy offers an eloquent history of his colorful and turbulent hometown. O Albany! is part journalism, part memoir, all infused with love and lyricism. We visit the city's ethnic and social neighborhoods. We meet the uncommon characters who tread on Kennedy's stage - Erastus Corning, America's longest-running mayor (forty-three years in office); the Prohibition celebrity gangster Jack "Legs" Diamond; the back matriarch Olivia Rorie, who transformed Albany's slums; Nelson Rockefeller and the "greatest marble project in the history of the world"; the political boss Dan O'Connell, who took City Hall in 1921 and never let go, even after he died.
Embellished with fifty-five vintage photographs and eleven maps drawn for this book, O Albany! is a historical love letter from Kennedy to his native city.