Nothin' but Blue Skies
The Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America's Industrial HeartlandBook - 2013
Looks at the boom and bust of America's upper Midwest and Great Lakes region, tracing its role as a leader in manufacturing, the forces that shaped it, and the innovations and industrial fallouts that brought about its downfall.
A rich history of America's Rust Belt-its riveters, rioters, and the generations it raised-tracing the culture, society, and economics of the biggest Boom Town in our history
The Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region became the "arsenal of democracy"-the greatest manufacturing center in the world-in the years during and after World War II, thanks to natural advantages and a welcoming culture. Decades of unprecedented prosperity followed, memorably punctuated by riots, strikes, burning rivers, and oil embargoes. A vibrant, quintessentially American character bloomed in the region's cities, suburbs, and backwaters.
But the innovation and industry that defined the Rust Belt also helped to hasten its demise. An air conditioner invented in Upstate New York transformed the South from a sweaty backwoods to a non-unionized industrial competitor. Japan and Germany recovered from their defeat to build fuel-efficient cars in the stagnant 1970s. The tentpole factories that paid workers so well also filled the air with soot, and poisoned waters and soil. The jobs drifted elsewhere, and many of the people soon followed suit.
Nothin' but Blue Skies tells the story of how the country's industrial heartland grew, boomed, bottomed, and hopes to be reborn. Through a propulsive blend of storytelling and reportage, celebrated writer Edward McClelland delivers the rise, fall, and revival of the Rust Belt and its people.
Born in Lansing, Michigan, in the mid-1960s, author McClelland witnessed the decline of the previous generation's way of life; during his teen years, the Midwest was declared a Rust Bowl. In this book for general readers, he introduces readers to real people of the region and their stories, at once offering an intimate portrait of communities and an exploration of the economic, political, and social factors behind the rise and fall of the manufacturing hub of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. While reporting on the negative impact of industry, such as pollution, he also celebrates the racial integration of the factories and mourns the loss of the opportunity to make a high wage. The author has written other books about the Midwest. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Chronicles the rich history of America's "Rust Belt" upper Midwest and Great Lakes region, tracing its role as a leading center of manufacturing, the political and social uprisings that shaped its story and the innovations and industrial fallouts that prompted the region's downfall.