The Fight to Save the Town: Reimagining Discarded America

We rated this book:


When industry thrived, cities and towns thrived. And then came change. As industry diminished and departed, In a no-holds-barred, aggressive, and simultaneously poignant book, Michelle Wilde Anderson describes impoverished lives in four American urban locations affected by this change. The introduction to The Fight to Save the Towns is both stunning and simultaneously sobering; it’s a memorable essay.

Can the ensuing chapters reveal more? The first lines of Chapter One focused on Stockton, CA, one of her four chosen places, exploring a frightening picture of poverty’s reality. When people are financially strapped, they pay lower taxes. When taxes are low, local services are reduced, affecting especially law enforcement, medical care, and social amenities. Anderson addresses the persistent suffering in Stockton, CA, Josephine County, OR, Lawrence, MA, and Detroit, MI. These are not ‘typical’ places, but they are representative. Outside money finances big box new towns planted beside the old ones, and newcomers, seeing deprived neighborhoods, find little reason to visit the hubs.

Anderson’s chosen centers confront similar problems with differing emphases on violence, racism, drugs, and immigration. To suggest one ‘should’ read a book is impertinent, but this portrait of fortitude and persistence is highly recommended.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
Publish Date 21-Jun-2022
ISBN 9781501195983 Buy this Book
Issue September 2022
Category Current Events & Politics