The U.S. auto industry has struck a brick wall. Can it get back on the road to recovery? At the Crossroads: Middle America and the Battle to Save the Car Industry argues that the Obama administration missed an historic opportunity in 2009 to launch a Manhattan Projectstyle effort to save not only Detroit, but the entire manufacturing base in Middle America.
Abe Aamidor and Ted Evanoff explain how Washington¹s intervention fell short and how it is holding back American economic recovery. The authors take a thoughtful look at the root causes behind the auto industry¹s crash, including disastrous labor contracts such as the 1950s¹ ³Treaty of Detroit,² which set the stage for crushing legacy costs; Wall Street¹s predatory financial practices ushered in under the Reagan administration; and a largely unregulated free trade regime that undermined the competitiveness of American manufacturing.
At the Crossroads tells the story of Detroit¹s collapse and a failed national industrial policy from the point of view of those most affected by it the factory workers, small business owners, and mayors of small manufacturing towns like Kokomo, Marion, and Bedford in Indiana, the number two auto manufacturing state after Michigan and the number one manufacturing state overall based on a percentage of population. Washington could debate the pros and cons of a national industrial policy and an auto industry bailout ad nauseum, but it was the people in small towns in Middle America who would live or die by the policy decisions of their distant national leaders.
Abe Aamidor is an award-winning journalist, author and university lecturer. He has been a reporter for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, and the Indianapolis Star newspapers, and is the author of Chuck Taylor, All Star (2006). He’ s taught journalism at Southern Illinois University, Georgia Southern University and Indiana University. He is also the author of Shooting Star: The Rise and Fall of the British Motorcycle Industry (ECW, 2009). Ted Evanoff has written quite a lot about industrial cities during three decades as a newspaper reporter. He has received more than two dozen reporting awards, mainly for writing about the automobile industry, manufacturing and economic development. He formerly was an automotive writer at the Detroit Free Press and is now the economics reporter for The Indianapolis Star. Both contributors live in Indiana.
Published: March 2010
Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.
“Traveling around mostly among a network of small Indiana cities that are, or were, satellites of the Detroit auto industry, the two authors fill in a rich picture of the challenges facing these communities and the obstacles that impede economic redevelopment.” — Blographia Literaria
"This book is at once an American industrial history, financial assessment, cultural analysis, economic inspection, and global forecast. Evanoff and Aamidor's work deserves praise for its meticulous reporting and thorough research. . . . Aamidor and Evanoff astutely show how the challenges of the small-town entrepreneur are directly connected to the fortunes of communities that have relied for generations, at least tangentially, on the domestic automotive giants." — The Christian Science Monitor
“This book is for those interested in a people-focused perspective of Detroit's collapse. It will complement the deeper look into the turning points in U.S. auto industry history provided by Paul Ingrassia's Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry's Road from Glory to Disaster.” — Library Journal