Sunday, December 21, 2008

more Braddock

Vanity Fair catches that the current issue of the self-described socialist magazine Monthly Review has an article all about the economic devastation that is Braddock. The full article isn't online, but some may want to go track down a copy. They like others are more and more making the apocalyptic analogy of Braddock to what may be about to happen to some of the auto towns elsewhere. NYT has a few articles at least mentioning Braddock coming out soon as well..... including some video. Keep an eye out for those. As for me, I think I have already said my piece.

but on Detroit. AP has a story about how bad things are there which extend beyond the auto industry's problems. Nonetheless, Detroit's employment trends are dire already and looking for an unbelievably bad quarter coming up.


Blogger Felix Dzerzhinsky said...

The ever-watchful James Wolcott would not miss a worthy piece in MR, a publication that maintains its relevance even after the deaths of its illustrious founders (Leo Huberman, Paul Sweezy, Harry Magdoff). The easiest way to find MR, of course, is to subscribe, as yours truly has done for years (I'm sure you're not surprised). The Foster/Fred Magdoff article that leads off the current issue is definitely worth reading; Old Whiskers himself would no doubt smile on it as a capable "I told you so."

When it comes to Pittsburgh-area matters, one of the co-editors is Michael Yates, formerly a professor at Pitt-Johnstown. I think he solicits Western PA and Rust Belt-themed material: about a year ago there was an article by Charlie McCollester on the "Steeler Nation" and the Rust Belt diaspora, and every now and then you see a book review by Paul LeBlanc, who is a professor at LaRoche.

The study of the Rust Belt is Jim Straub's obsession, though I'm not quite sure what he was getting at with this current article. I think it came about because Jim still has one foot in the anarcho-flavored punk subculture, which is part of Mayor Fetterman's orbit. Jim is too politically battle-hardened (lots of time spent as a union organizer) to see much political promise in counter-cultural efforts, but he still thinks they're cool; it seems likely to me that he ended up writing about Fetterman and Braddock because someone he knew from the punk scene convinced him that it was something worth checking out. His portrayal of Fetterman is sympathetic, but he doesn't try to portray his milieu as a movement of the left. I think Jim sees this article as a chapter in a book about the Rust Belt more than as a freestanding piece.

Monday, December 22, 2008 1:07:00 AM  

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