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I have read several of Dale Maharidge and Michael S. Williamson's books in reverse chronological order, so recently I tracked down this book, which was their first collaboration in 1985. These two men pair prose and photographs into a powerful narrative that bring to light a forgotten underclass. While some people might look back at the Reagan years as a time of Wall Street successes and financial uptick, that was far from the truth for many. The Rust Belt was in full decline, with impacts still ...more
Having just finished this amazingly written and illustrated book, the words shock and awe seem appropriate to describe how it has impressed me. The writing and the photography in this book are excellent, top notch. It is no wonder that these authors went on to win a Pulitzer for the third in this series of journalistic volumes. I read this because it is a book that deeply impressed and inspired Bruce Springsteen as he was working on his masterpiece album "The Ghost of Tom Joad". Both Bruce's alb ...more
Journey to Nowhere tells the story of the collapse of the steel industry and the domino effect on other industries in big cities and small towns across mid America in the 80's. The loss of jobs to the hard working people in steel towns like Youngstown, Ohio left them bewildered and shaken to the core. How would they live when all the good jobs have left town never to return? These are people used to hard dirty work for a paycheck. The authors interview and even live with and tell the story of ma ...more
I was homeless once (well, twice, actually) about 27 years ago. I thought I had moved on from all that, until I read this amazing book. From the first chapter, the prose and the images brought up deeply repressed memories of trauma and despair. I'm not someone who has a problem with depression, but this book left me in a black pit for three days. And it made me recoil in horror to realize how common an experience it is, how many other people share that little corner of hell.
Dale Maharidge and ph ...more
Dale Maharidge and ph ...more
A thoroughly depressing but interesting look at lives affected the the economic downturn in the mid 80s. The writer and photographer traveled the country by car, bus & freight train, meeting and speaking with people who lost their homes and jobs, but were on the move trying to make a fresh start.It is of special interest to Bruce Springsteen fans since the book directly inspired some of his songs, especially on The Ghost of Tom Joad. The songs Youngstown & The New Timerin particular cont ...more
This book is an intense experience. It'll make you appreciate what you've got, down to the fork you eat with. So many of the people who worked hard for decades in Youngstown, Detroit, Toledo, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Columbus, and a hundred other places were discarded by heavy industry during the '81-'83 recession. They were typically intelligent, educated, and had it made for a time. Anyone could have ended up in their situation.
The story of thousands of Americans left behind when the steel industry crumbled in the late 1970s. While me and my friends were out playing whiffle ball, hard working men rode in trains around the country looking for work because they refused to go on welfare.
I'm a professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. I've published ten books, including And Their Children After Them, which won the 1990 non-fiction Pulitzer Prize. The most recent is Bringing Mulligan Home/The Other Side of the Good War (PublicAffairs). Before that I released the paperback edition of Someplace Like America/ Tales from the New Great Depression(University of Ca ...more