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

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, May 21, 2013 - History - 343 pages
9 Reviews
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.
  

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

User Review  - Dave - Goodreads

Disjointed, rambling, lacking in substance. The only thing I learned from this book is that the author is an arrogant prick. Or at least he comes across as one. His "memoir" style of prose is self ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Jeramey - Goodreads

I read this book expecting something similar to Richard Longworth's Caught in the Middle. It's not that, and that's okay. It does lack a solid structure to define where you're going, but I suppose the ... Read full review

Contents

Guss Bar
1
The SitDown Striker
8
The Arsenal of Democracy
17
The Motor City Is Burning
30
Burn On Big River 4 4
44
A Rust Bowl
93
New Iack Cities
136
The Smell ofMoney
159
Were All Going to End up in Chicago
188
Nature Always Bats Last
204
The Second Great Recession
230
The Corner of Palmer and Iesus Saves
251
This Is Not Your Fathers Oldsmobile
306
Acknowledgments
327
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

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.

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