Deindustrialization is not simply an economic process; it is also a social and cultural phenomenon. The rusting detritus of our industrial past-the wrecked halls of factories, abandoned machinery too large to remove, and now-useless infrastructures-has for decades been a part of the North American landscape. Through a unique blend of oral history, photographs, and interpretive essays, Corporate Wasteland investigates this fascinating terrain and the phenomenon of its loss and rediscovery.
Corporate Wasteland is more than simply the best book on deindustrialization; it’s a transnational road trip through the rustbelt with everyone from Woody Guthrie to Walker Evans, Joseph Schumpeter to John Steinbeck along for the ride, pointing out the details, arguing about what happened, and digging into the rich complexity of truth itself. The transcendent photographs of rotting industrial hulks and the elegiac words of the workers sear with the intensity of the once red-hot blast furnaces, now long grown cold. This book is not a lament – it is an interrogation of entire landscape.
– Jefferson Cowie, Cornell University, author of Capital Moves: RCA’s Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor
|Introduction||The Landscape and Memory of Deindustrialization|
|Part I||The Deindustrial Sublime|
|Chapter 1||Industrial Demolition and the Meaning of Economic Change in North America|
|Chapter 2||"Take Only Pictures and Leave Only Footprints": Urban Exploration and the Aesthetics of Deindustrialization|
|Chapter 3||From Cradle to Grave: The Politics of Memory in Youngstown, Ohio|
|Part II||Oral History and Photography|
|Chapter 4||Out of Place: The Plant Shutdown Stories of Sturgeon Falls (Ontario) Paperworkers|
|Chapter 5||Gabriel's Detroit|
|Chapter 6||Deindustrial Fragments|
|Chapter 7||King Coal: The Coal Counties of West Virginia|
|Chapter 8||A Vanishing Landmark: Allied Paper in Kalamazoo, Michigan|
|Oral History Interviews Cited|