Industrial Sunset: The Making of North America's Rust Belt, 1969-1984
Published: December 2003© 2003
318 Pages, 5.96 x 8.99 x 0.86 in
Plant shutdowns in Canada and the United States from 1969 to 1984 led to an ongoing and ravaging industrial decline of the Great Lakes Region. Industrial Sunset offers a comparative regional analysis of the economic and cultural devastation caused by the shutdowns, and provides an insightful examination of how mill and factory workers on both sides of the border made sense of their own displacement. The history of deindustrialization rendered in cultural terms reveals the importance of community and national identifications in how North Americans responded to the problem.
Based on the plant shutdown stories told by over 130 industrial workers, and drawing on extensive archival and published sources, and songs and poetry from the time period covered, Steve High explores the central issues in the history and contemporary politics of plant closings. In so doing, this study poses new questions about group identification and solidarity in the face of often dramatic industrial transformation.
'[Industrial Sunset] far surpasses the little literature on the Canadian side... and, with its comparative perspective moves well beyond the older work of American political economists... This ambitious study opens up new perspectives on Canadian and American industrial, political, and cultural development that should stimulate considerable interest and discussion.'Craig Heron, Department of History, York University
- Raymond Klibansky Prize
- John Porter Memorial Book Prize, Canadian Sociology & Anthropology Association
- Albert B. Corey Prize, Canadian Historical Association and American Historical Association