{read online Textbooks} Steeltown USA: Work and Memory in Youngstown Author Sherry Lee Linkon – Intimatenights.co.uk

Steeltown USA: Work and Memory in Youngstown This book is largely about the memory of Youngstown and how Youngstown should be remembered It s about the struggles between race, class and ethnicity It talks about representations , the way Youngstown represents itself and how it is represented and viewed by others, and it explores these representations from the top, bottom, all four sides and every other angle you can imagine The book argues the importance of memory in forming a collective identity of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley Will Youngstown be remembered for its people, steel, crime, corruption, politics, economic failure, recovery efforts, etc The book goes deeply into the steel mill closings and subsequent deindustrialization, depopulation, and decay, and explores its impact on Youngstown, its neighborhoods and the surrounding communities It goes not only into the economic impact, but on the psychological and philosophical impact on the city, neighborhoods, communities, the residents who remain in the area, and their efforts to save a part of the steel industry, both as a viable business and in Youngstown s history.The book seems to vilify the government, and in particular large corporations, using terms like unregulated and irresponsible In that sense the authors come across as anti capitalist, pro union and talk about social justice when referring to the corporations that closed the mills They don t in my opinion adequately explore all of the reasons the big corporations closed the mills, like government over regulation particularly environmental and its associated costs, outrageous federal corporate taxes, and state and local taxes, foreign competition, and particularly in the industries waning years, labor union demands All of which, as well as other unmentioned factors, made the mills economically unviable It s like the authors expected those heartless corporations and their shareholders to keep the mills open and running at a loss for humanitarian reasons, when the fact is, that s not how capitalism works If a large corporation can ship the raw material overseas or to Mexico, make a product there, and ship back the finished product at a lower cost than making it here, that s what they are going to do The problem isn t the heartless big corporations, it s the government s trade deals and the lack of incoming tariffs The book really sells corporations short in this respect, but somewhat glorifies the unions.All in all the book is interesting and related a lot of history that I was previously unaware of, having left the area in 1973 apparently in the nick of time , and it wasn t all philosophical and abstract, but the book is dark It presents a much darker history of Youngstown than I remember, of class, racial and ethnic struggles and conflict, and a far darker future for Youngstown as being beyond the point of no return The history, facts and statics are quite interesting, but I can do without the warm fuzzy stuff, without which the book wouldn t exist.If you are from Youngstown, the Mahoning Valley, attended Youngstown State University, or are just interested in knowing about the destruction of a once diverse and vibrant city by deindustrialization, crime, and corruption, you ll likely enjoy this book It is well written, and well edited, and is not a difficult read except in a few places After you get past the introduction it reads fairly easily. Not read Having live in Briar Hill in Youngstown, I found this book facinating I read it in 5 days, had a hard time putting it down Youngstown, Oh has a proud history has produced many sucessful people I am passing the book along to all my local friends Although Youngstown itself is very depressed, the sourounding area, Canfield, Poland, Boardman are equal to the finest comunities in the country With the working Class mentality, many of us grew up with, there is nothing a Youngstowner can t accomplish. For those of us who left Youngstown before the Great Deindustrialization, this book tells us the rest of the story.It brought back many memories of growing up in a steel town and all that went with it. Once the symbol of a robust steel industry and blue collar economy, Youngstown, Ohio, and its famous Jeannette Blast Furnace have become key icons in the tragic tale of American deindustrialization Sherry Lee Linkon and John Russo examine the inevitable tension between those discordant visions, which continue to exert great power over Steeltown s citizens as they struggle to redefine their lives When the Jenny was shut down in 1978, 50,000 Youngstown workers lost their jobs, cutting the heart out of the local economy Even as the community organized a nationally recognized effort to save the mills, the city was rocked by economic devastation, runaway crime, and mob scandal, problems that persist twenty five years later In the midst of these struggles the Jenny remained standing as a proud symbol of the community s glory days, still a dominant force in the construction of both individual and collective identities in Youngstown ocusing on stories and images that both reflect and perpetuate how Youngstown understands itself as a community, Sherry Lee Linkon and John Russo have forged a historical and cultural study of the relationship between community, memory, work, and conflict Drawing on written texts, visual images, sculptures, films, songs, and interviews with people who have lived and worked in Youngstown, the authors show the importance of memory in forming the collective identity of a place Steeltown, U.S.A is a richly developed portrait of a place, showing how images of the Jenny and of Youngstown have been used in national media and connecting these representations to the broader public conversation about work and place Bruce Springsteen s song Youngstown, the book Journey to Nowhere, and other pop culture artifacts have helped make Youngstown the symbolic epicenter of American deindustrialization And while many people see the need to get over the past and on with the future, in rushing to erase the difficult parts of Youngstown s history they might also forget the powerful events that made the city so important, such as the struggles for economic and social justice that improved the lives of steelworkers This multifaceted study of the meaning of work and place in one community pointedly depicts the relationships among economic development, media representations, and community life As we see how people s faith in the value of their work dwindled away in Youngstown, their stories can help us understand not only how the meaning of work has changed but also why the changing meaning of work matters.

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