Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race, and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 1945-1980

Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race, and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 1945-1980

by Andrew Hurley

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Overview

Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race, and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 1945-1980 by Andrew Hurley

By examining environmental change through the lens of conflicting social agendas, Andrew Hurley uncovers the historical roots of environmental inequality in contemporary urban America. Hurley's study focuses on the steel mill community of Gary, Indiana, a city that was sacrificed, like a thousand other American places, to industrial priorities in the decades following World War II. Although this period witnessed the emergence of a powerful environmental crusade and a resilient quest for equality and social justice among blue-collar workers and African Americans, such efforts often conflicted with the needs of industry. To secure their own interests, manufacturers and affluent white suburbanites exploited divisions of race and class, and the poor frequently found themselves trapped in deteriorating neighborhoods and exposed to dangerous levels of industrial pollution. In telling the story of Gary, Hurley reveals liberal capitalism's difficulties in reconciling concerns about social justice and quality of life with the imperatives of economic growth. He also shows that the power to mold the urban landscape was intertwined with the ability to govern social relations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807898789
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 11/30/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 266
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Andrew Hurley is associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

An important book which anyone interested in cities, the environment, social justice, or just our modern age should read. It is a book which will quickly become the standard reference in the field.—Journal of Social History

Hurley's well-written and well-organized work is a social and environmental history of the unequal distribution of environmental problems caused by industrial production processes. . . . The book is founded on solid research and is a pleasure to read.—Choice

This book is clearly written, carefully researched, and as a result is a compelling condemnation of the power of industrial capital to shape the human and natural environment to its own end. Gary's poor and black residents, as Hurley makes clear, have been and are dying for a better environment.—-Indiana Magazine of History

A model for the historical assessment of how environmental inequalities become established over time in a specific locality.—Environmental History

Andrew Hurley has written an important case study of grass-roots environmental agitation and policy making in Gary, Indiana. His focus on environmental inequalities is particularly useful as scholars and activists pay more attention to urban environmental issues and the environment and social justice.—Clayton R. Koppes, Oberlin College

A devastating critique of American corporate capitalism, made all the more impressive by its meticulous scholarship.—Journal of American History

Hurley's book is a sophisticated and persuasive piece of environmental history. It is well-written, deeply researched, and strongly argued, making an effective case for the proposition that environmental inequality has been 'endemic to urban America.'—American Historical Review

An important, provocative analysis.—Labor History

A thoughtful, important book. It furthers our understanding of race and class issues by exploring how they are played out in the struggle for a clean, healthy environment.—Theodore Steinberg, New Jersey Institute of Technology

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