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The Fifty-Year Rebellion: How the U.S. Political Crisis Began in Detroit (American Studies Now: Critical Histories of the Present #2)

The Fifty-Year Rebellion: How the U.S. Political Crisis Began in Detroit (American Studies Now: Critical Histories of the Present #2)

Current price: $18.95
Publication Date: July 4th, 2017
Publisher:
University of California Press
ISBN:
9780520294912
Pages:
192
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Description

On July 23, 1967, the eyes of the world fixed on Detroit, as thousands took to the streets to vent their frustrations with white racism, police brutality, and vanishing job prospects in the place that gave rise to the American Dream. Mainstream observers contended that the “riot” brought about the ruin of a once-great city; for them, the municipal bankruptcy of 2013 served as a bailout paving the way for the rebuilding of Detroit. Challenging this prevailing view, Scott Kurashige portrays the past half century as a long rebellion whose underlying tensions continue to haunt the city and the U.S. nation-state. He sees Michigan’s scandal-ridden "emergency management" regime, set up to handle the bankruptcy, as the most concerted effort to put it down by disenfranchising the majority black citizenry and neutralizing the power of unions.
 
Are we succumbing to authoritarian plutocracy or can we create a new society rooted in social justice and participatory democracy? The corporate architects of Detroit’s restructuring have championed the creation of a “business-friendly” city, where billionaire developers are subsidized to privatize and gentrify Downtown, while working-class residents are being squeezed out by rampant housing evictions, school closures, water shutoffs, toxic pollution, and militarized policing. Grassroots organizers, however, have transformed Detroit into an international model for survival, resistance, and solidarity through the creation of urban farms, freedom schools, and self-governing communities. This epochal struggle illuminates the possible futures for our increasingly unstable and polarized nation.

About the Author

Scott Kurashige is Professor of American and Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington Bothell and coauthor with Grace Lee Boggs of The Next American Revolution.

Praise for The Fifty-Year Rebellion: How the U.S. Political Crisis Began in Detroit (American Studies Now: Critical Histories of the Present #2)

"Kurashige sees in Detroit a microcosm of the political ills which he believes afflict the United States more broadly. Starting with the rioting of 1967, he presents a history of the policies that he believes have disen- franchised, impoverished and repressed Detroit’s black and working-class citizens, as well as their acts of resistance."
— Survival: Global Politics and Strategy

"Kurashige’s purpose is advocacy as much as exposition, but he presents compelling details on what led up to, and what followed, Detroit’s bankruptcy,including the forms of state administration that were imposed on the city, a story barely covered by the national press."
— Survival: Global Politics and Strategy