Thursday, August 10, 2017


Janesville: an American story / Amy Goldstein, 364 pgs.

This book is a study of Janesville, Wisconsin following the financial meltdown in 2008 when the GM plant in town closed.  The plant closing had a ripple effect as other supporting businesses closed and threw a LOT of people in town out of work. The author does a careful study of several families and how they deal with the recession.  Even after the recession, Janesville had high unemployment and many of those who were working were doing so at much lower wages.  An interesting look at a small manufacturing town and how they pulled together and pulled apart.  Formerly a town with a generous giving campaigns, as more and more need charity there are fewer to support these efforts.  From homeless teens to families struggling to buy groceries, the problems grow.  But there are bright spots and many people learn to get by but you have to wonder if there are better ways to handle these things.

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