Nothin' But Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America's Industrial Heartland

Nothin' But Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America's Industrial Heartland

by Edward McClelland

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Overview

Nothin' But Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America's Industrial Heartland by Edward McClelland

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608195299
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 05/21/2013
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Edward McClelland is the author of Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President, The Third Coast: Sailors, Strippers, Fisherman, Folksingers, Long-Haired Ojibway Painters, and God-Save-the-Queen Monarchists of the Great Lakes, and Horseplayers: Life at the Track. He has contributed to the New York Times, Playboy, Slate, the Nation, and many other publications. He lives in Chicago.

Read an Excerpt

NOTHIN' BUT BLUE SKIES

The Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America's Industrial Heartland


By EDWARD MCCLELLAND

BLOOMSBURY PRESS

Copyright © 2013 Edward McClelland
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60819-529-9


Excerpt


(Continues...)

Excerpted from NOTHIN' BUT BLUE SKIES by EDWARD MCCLELLAND. Copyright © 2013 by Edward McClelland. Excerpted by permission of BLOOMSBURY PRESS.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Gus's Bar 1

1 The Sit-Down Striker 8

2 The Arsenal of Democracy 17

3 The Motor City Is Burning 30

4 Burn On, Big River 44

5 I'm a Flintoid 68

6 "A Rust Bowl" 93

7 Homestead 118

8 New Jack Cities 136

9 The Smell of Money 159

10 "We're All Going to End up in Chicago" 188

11 "Nature Always Bats Last" 204

12 Lackawanna Blues 216

13 The Second Great Recession 230

14 The Corner of Palmer and Jesus Saves 251

15 Flintstones 289

16 "This Is Not Your Father's Oldsmobile" 306

Acknowledgments 327

Bibliography 329

Index 333

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The Nothin' But Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America's Industrial Heartland 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous 28 days ago
Awsome read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If your from the midwest or the great lake region, its a great read. Opens your eyes to the way industries ,unions and the government operated in the mid 19th century. Very good book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent and fascinating a nonfictional book about recent history in the auto and steel industries, especially Buffalo, Detroit, Flint, etc. (the rust belt cities). It reminds me of my life, I was born in Detroit, lived there 20 years, near Detroit since then, and my father worked at a Ford car factory. He wrote real people in their lives, not sugar-coated auto industry spokespersons. Maybe sarcasm and cynical his writings but it's true enough.