Revives the story of the most significant labor dispute in American history that helped usher in national prosperity with the rust belt as its industrial engine.
The tumultuous Flint Sit-Down Strike of 1936 to 1937 symbolized the start of the United Auto Workers and set the standard for wages in every industry. This historic transformation of the economic structure in the U.S. ultimately established the golden age of the American middle class. The causes for which the strikers sat down--collective bargaining, secure retirement, better wages--enjoyed a half-century of success. But now, the middle class is diminishing in the 21st century.
Journalist and historian, Edward McClelland revives the stories of the industrial Midwest in order to examine how the labor movement has declined as a result of changes in automation, outsourcing, and American politics. Midnight Vehicle City uses the lens of Flint, Michigan to exemplify how one city can be the birthplace of the middle class yet face its most rapid decline. Through new stories of strikers and archival research, McClelland reminds readers how shared prosperity can only be achieved through intervention and how the legacy of the Sit-Down Strike can guide our understanding of the increasing economic disparities in the U.S.