An elegy—angry, funny, and powerfully detailed—about the slow death of a Detroit auto plant and an American way of life.
How does a country dismantle a century’s worth of its industrial heritage? To answer that question, Paul Clemens investigates the 2006 closing of one of America’s most potent symbols: a Detroit auto plant. Prior to its closing, the Budd Company stamping plant on Detroit’s East Side, built in 1919, was one of the oldest active auto plants in America’s foremost industrial city—one whose history includes the nation’s proudest moments and those of its working class. Its closing also reflects the character of the country in a new era—the sad, brutal process of picking it apart and sending it, piece by piece, to the countries that now have use for its machines.
Punching Out is an up-close report, at once tender and angry, from the meanest, sharpest edge of America’s deindustrialization, and a lament for a working-class culture that once defined a prosperous America—and that is now on the verge of economic extinction.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Punching Out|
|Release Date: 01-18-2011|
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The newsletter comes out biweekly and is “targeted to surplus industry service providers,” including “rebuilders, used equipment dealers, dismantlers, demolishers, remediation contractors, equipment riggers, craters, and equipment transport ﬁrms looking for current business opportunities, particularly those arising from the closing or relocating of North American industrial manufacturing plants.” Each issue begins by noting the number of closings in the United States and Canada included in the issue. For instance, the January 15, 2007, issue is headlined: “44 Companies Closing 48 Plants + 18 Bankruptcies.” These are then subdivided by industry— food processing, textile products, wood products, pulp, paper products, chemical products, rubber, plastics products, glass, cement products, metal products, electrical, electronics, other manufacturers—and again by state—“AL 2, FL 3, MI 6”— before the speciﬁcs of each closing are given. Clark recalled getting a phone call from a manager at a plant in Arkansas angry that his plant had appeared in the newsletter. Clark pointed out that the closing had already made the papers.