New book tracks the Midwest economy from boom to bust

Jun 18, 2013

If you've grown up in Michigan---or elsewhere in the Midwest, you don't need us to tell you there's been an unbelievable shift in the lifestyle, the economy, the job expectations from, say, your parents' or grandparents' day to what we face in 2013.

Here in the Great Lakes, we've gone from the "Arsenal of Democracy" during World War II to the center of manufacturing, especially of automobiles, to present day, where many of those once-booming factories are empty and rotting away or falling to the wrecker's ball.

Writer Edward McClelland grew up in Lansing, where once upon a time a kid could go from a high school graduation ceremony right into a GM plant, make a great living thanks to contracts won by the UAW, and go right up to retirement. As we all know here in Michigan, those days are gone forever.

Edward McClelland's new book digs into what happened to the industrial midsection of America, including Michigan. It's called "Nothin' But Blue Skies: the Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes Of America's Industrial Heartland."

Edward McClelland joined us here in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.