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Rust Belt Boy

Author: Paul Hertneky
Publisher: Bauhan Pub
ISBN: 9780872332225
Size: 32.13 MB
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Tales of a largely unknown and recurrent Promised Land, revealing the soul of industrial life, and a yearning for broader horizons

Boom Bust Exodus

Author: Chad Broughton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190608862
Size: 54.43 MB
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"In 2002, the town of Galesburg, a slowly declining Rustbelt city of 34,000 in western Illinois, learned that it would soon lose its largest factory, a Maytag refrigerator plant that had anchored Galesburg's social and economic life for half a century. Workers at the plant earned $15.14 an hour, had good insurance, and were assured a solid retirement. In 2004, the plant was relocated to Reynosa, Mexico, where workers spent 13-hour days assembling refrigerators for $1.10 an hour. In Boom, Bust, Exodus, Broughton offers a look at the transition to a globalized economy, from the perspective of those who have felt its effects most. In today's highly commoditized world, we are increasingly divorced from the origins of the goods we consume; the human labor required to create our smart phones and hybrid cars is so far removed from the end product we need not even think about it. And yet, Broughton shows, the human cost behind the shifting currents of the global economy remains a reality. Broughton illuminates these complexities through a tale of two cities that have fared very differently in the global contest to woo or retain fickle capital. In Galesburg, the economy is a shadow of what it once was. Reynosa, in contrast, has become one of the exploding 'second-tier cities' of the developing world, thanks to the influx of foreign-owned, export-oriented maquiladoras. And yet even these distinctions cannot be finely drawn: families struggle to get by in Reynosa, and the city is beset by violence and a ruthless drug war. Those left behind in declining of Galesburg, meanwhile, do not see themselves as helpless victims: many have gone back to school, scramble from job to job, and have learned to adapt and even thrive. It is a downsized existence, but a full-sized life nonetheless"--

Devastation And Renewal

Author: Joel A. Tarr
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Pre
ISBN: 0822972867
Size: 29.51 MB
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Every city has an environmental story, perhaps none so dramatic as Pittsburgh's. Founded in a river valley blessed with enormous resources-three strong waterways, abundant forests, rich seams of coal-the city experienced a century of exploitation and industrialization that degraded and obscured the natural environment to a horrific degree. Pittsburgh came to be known as “the Smoky City,” or, as James Parton famously declared in 1866, “hell with the lid taken off.” Then came the storied Renaissance in the years following World War II, when the city's public and private elites, abetted by technological advances, came together to improve the air and renew the built environment. Equally dramatic was the sweeping deindustrialization of Pittsburgh in the 1980s, when the collapse of the steel industry brought down the smokestacks, leaving vast tracks of brownfields and riverfront. Today Pittsburgh faces unprecedented opportunities to reverse the environmental degradation of its history. In Devastation and Renewal, scholars of the urban environment post questions that both complicate and enrich this story. Working from deep archival research, they ask not only what happened to Pittsburgh's environment, but why. What forces-economic, political, and cultural-were at work? In exploring the disturbing history of pollution in Pittsburgh, they consider not only the sooty skies, but also the poisoned rivers and creeks, the mined hills, and scarred land. Who profited and who paid for such “progress”? How did the environment Pittsburghers live in come to be, and how it can be managed for the future? In a provocative concluding essay, Samuel P. Hays explores Pittsburgh's “environmental culture,” the attitudes and institutions that interpret a city's story and work to create change. Comparing Pittsburgh to other cities and regions, he exposes exaggerations of Pittsburgh's environmental achievement and challenges the community to make real progress for the future. A landmark contribution to the emerging field of urban environmental history, Devastation and Renewal will be important to all students of cities, of cultures, and of the natural world.

Hillbilly Elegy

Author: J. D. Vance
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062872257
Size: 37.48 MB
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, NAMED BY THE TIMES AS ONE OF "6 BOOKS TO HELP UNDERSTAND TRUMP'S WIN" AND SOON TO BE A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD "You will not read a more important book about America this year."—The Economist "A riveting book."—The Wall Street Journal "Essential reading."—David Brooks, New York Times Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck. The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.'s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history. A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

After The Fog

Author: Kathleen Shoop
Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub
ISBN: 9781469935706
Size: 80.67 MB
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The sins of the mother…In the mill town of Donora, Pennsylvania, site of the infamous 1948 “killing smog,” headstrong nurse Rose Pavlesic tends to her family and neighbors. Controlling and demanding, she's created a life that reflects everything she missed growing up as an orphan. She's even managed to keep her painful secrets hidden from her loving husband, dutiful children, and large extended family. When a stagnant weather pattern traps poisonous mill gasses in the valley, neighbors grow sicker and Rose's nursing obligations thrust her into conflict she never could have fathomed. Consequences from her past collide with her present life, making her once clear decisions as gray as the suffocating smog. As pressure mounts, Rose finds she's not the only one harboring lies. When the deadly fog finally clears, the loss of trust and faith leaves the Pavlesic family—and the whole town—splintered and shocked. With her new perspective, can Rose finally forgive herself and let her family's healing begin?

Teardown

Author: Gordon Young
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520270525
Size: 74.91 MB
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After living in San Francisco for 15 years, journalist Gordon Young found himself yearning for his Rust Belt hometown: Flint, Michigan, the birthplace of General Motors and “star” of the Michael Moore documentary Roger & Me. Hoping to rediscover and help a place that once boasted one of the world’s highest per capita income levels, but is now one of the country's most impoverished and dangerous cities, he returned to Flint with the intention of buying a house. What he found was a place of stark contrasts and dramatic stories, where an exotic dancer can afford a lavish mansion, speculators scoop up cheap houses by the dozen on eBay, and arson is often the quickest route to neighborhood beautification. Skillfully blending personal memoir, historical inquiry, and interviews with Flint residents, Young constructs a vibrant tale of a once-thriving city still fighting—despite overwhelming odds—to rise from the ashes. He befriends a rag-tag collection of urban homesteaders and die-hard locals who refuse to give up as they try to transform Flint into a smaller, greener town that offers lessons for cities all over the world. Hard-hitting, insightful, and often painfully funny, Teardown reminds us that cities are ultimately defined by people, not politics or economics.

Cinderland

Author: Amy Jo Burns
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807037036
Size: 47.43 MB
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"Amy Jo Burns grew up in Mercury, PA--a small, conservative Rust Belt town fallen sleepy a decade after the steel industry's collapse. But the year Amy turned ten, everyone in Mercury woke up. That was the year Howard Lotte, Mercury's beloved piano teacher, was accused of committing indiscretions during his lessons. Among the girls questioned, only seven dared to tell the truth that would ostracize them from the community. Amy Jo Burns was one of the girls who lied. Her memoir, CINDERLAND, navigates the impact that lie had on her adolescent years to follow--tracing all the boys she ran from and toward, the girls she betrayed, and the endless performances she put on to please a town that never trusted girls in the first place. CINDERLAND is literary memoir of the highest caliber. A slim, searing feat of narrative beauty, it is full of psychologically nuanced grappling, imagery of fire and steel, and eerily universal shadows of adolescence"--

American Rust

Author: Philipp Meyer
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 9780385529686
Size: 10.56 MB
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The debut novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Son BONUS: This edition contains a reader's guide. Set in a beautiful but economically devastated Pennsylvania steel town, American Rust is a novel of the lost American dream and the desperation—as well as the acts of friendship, loyalty, and love—that arise from its loss. From local bars to trainyards to prison, it is the story of two young men, bound to the town by family, responsibility, inertia, and the beauty around them, who dream of a future beyond the factories and abandoned homes. Left alone to care for his aging father after his mother commits suicide and his sister escapes to Yale, Isaac English longs for a life beyond his hometown. But when he finally sets out to leave for good, accompanied by his temperamental best friend, former high school football star Billy Poe, they are caught up in a terrible act of violence that changes their lives forever. Evoking John Steinbeck’s novels of restless lives during the Great Depression, American Rust takes us into the contemporary American heartland at a moment of profound unrest and uncertainty about the future. It is a dark but lucid vision, a moving novel about the bleak realities that battle our desire for transcendence and the power of love and friendship to redeem us. Newsweek's list of "Best. Books. Ever" A Washington Post Top Ten Book of 2009 A New York Times Notable Book of 2009 An Economist Best Book of 2009 A Kansas City Star Top 100 book of 2009 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Best Books of 2009 Idaho Statesman's Best Books of 2009

Why The Garden Club Couldn T Save Youngstown

Author: Sean Safford
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674051300
Size: 45.71 MB
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In this book, Sean Safford compares the recent history of Allentown, Pennsylvania, with that of Youngstown, Ohio. Allentown has seen a noticeable rebound over the course of the past twenty years. Facing a collapse of its steel-making firms, its economy has reinvented itself by transforming existing companies, building an entrepreneurial sector, and attracting inward investment. Youngstown was similar to Allentown in its industrial history, the composition of its labor force, and other important variables, and yet instead of adapting in the face of acute economic crisis, it fell into a mean race to the bottom. Challenging various theoretical perspectives on regional socioeconomic change, "Why the Garden Club Couldn't Save Youngstown" argues that the structure of social networks among the cities' economic, political, and civic leaders account for the divergent trajectories of post-industrial regions. It offers a probing historical explanation for the decline, fall, and unlikely rejuvenation of the Rust Belt. Emphasizing the power of social networks to shape action, determine access to and control over information and resources, define the contexts in which problems are viewed, and enable collective action in the face of externally generated crises, this book points toward present-day policy prescriptions for the ongoing plight of mature industrial regions in the U.S. and abroad.

Lessons From The Heartland

Author: Barbara Miner
Publisher: The New Press
ISBN: 1595588647
Size: 33.22 MB
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In a magisterial work of narrative nonfiction that weaves together the racially fraught history of public education in Milwaukee and the broader story of hypersegregation in the rust belt, Lessons from the Heartland tells of an iconic city’s fall from grace—and of its chance for redemption in the twenty-first century. A symbol of middle American working-class values and pride, Wisconsin—and in particular urban Milwaukee—has been at the forefront of a half-century of public education experiments, from desegregation and “school choice,” to vouchers and charter schools. Picking up where J. Anthony Lukas’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Common Ground left off, Lessons from the Heartland offers a sweeping narrative portrait of an All-American city at the epicenter of American public education reform, and an exploration of larger issues of race and class in our democracy. Miner (whose daughters went through the Milwaukee public school system and who is a former Milwaukee Journal reporter) brings a journalist’s eye and a parent’s heart to exploring the intricate ways that jobs, housing, and schools intersect, underscoring the intrinsic link between the future of public schools and the dreams and hopes of democracy in a multicultural society. This book will change the way we think about the possibility and promise of American public education.