Industrial Sunset

High, Steven. Industrial Sunset: The Making of North America’s Rust Belt, 1969-1984. Toronto; University of Toronto Press, 2003.

The emptying of the mythical heart of the United States — and the birth of the Rust Belt and Rust Belt labels — signalled the decrepitude of the heavily industrialized states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  (192)

Somewhere between the terms Frost Belt and Sun Belt there was the Rust Belt.  The Rust Belt has been having a revival lately, with pretty much a weekly wire story about Detroit and its ailments.  Of course, Detroit and the “industrial heartland” that is often referred to as the Rust Belt has been taking hard knocks for decades. Though products of different diseases, the hard times of today has resonance with the Rust Belt saga.  On a similar note, the Great Depression is also appearing in the non-fiction section.

There are varying descriptions of what geography entails the rusted over country.  Some descriptions include mainly the Great Lakes region, while others include more of the mid-Atlantic states with cities such as Utica, Trenton, and Baltimore.  Either way, Ohio is firmly a part of the Rust Belt, though Cincinnati and Columbus may or may not make the cut.  (Cincinnati is sometimes too South and not automobile-and-steel-manufacturing centric enough, and Columbus is often included with the Sun Belt cities.)   Continue reading