Globalization has hit the American middle class hard as blue-collar jobs that once yielded stellar wages and comprehensive benefits have eroded, if not completely vanished, in the last 25 years. Few know this better than Edward McClelland, whose latest book, Nothin’ But Blue Skies: The Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America’s Industrial Heartland investigates how this change has taken place and the ways it continues to impact families from the Ohio River to the Great Lakes.
A onetime staff writer for The Chicago Reader with a keen eye for detail, McClelland focuses on how the Rust Belt’s demise has hollowed out entire communities, including his once-thriving hometown of Lansing, Mich., which could be a poster child for our radically altered economic landscape.
McClelland, whose previous books include the illuminating Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President, discusses Nothin’ But Blue Skies 7 p.m. Thursday.
Free. Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 2692 Madison Road, Rookwood Pavilion, Norwood, 513-396-8960, josephbeth.com.