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The Poisoned City : Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy
by Anna Clark


Overview -

When the people of Flint, Michigan, turned on their faucets in April 2014, the water pouring out was poisoned with lead and other toxins.

Through a series of disastrous decisions, the state government had switched the city's water supply to a source that corroded Flint's aging lead pipes.  Read more...


 
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More About The Poisoned City by Anna Clark
 
 
 
Overview

When the people of Flint, Michigan, turned on their faucets in April 2014, the water pouring out was poisoned with lead and other toxins.

Through a series of disastrous decisions, the state government had switched the city's water supply to a source that corroded Flint's aging lead pipes. Complaints about the foul-smelling water were dismissed: the residents of Flint, mostly poor and African American, were not seen as credible, even in matters of their own lives.

It took eighteen months of activism by city residents and a band of dogged outsiders to force the state to admit that the water was poisonous. By that time, twelve people had died and Flint's children had suffered irreparable harm. The long battle for accountability and a humane response to this man-made disaster has only just begun.

In the first full account of this American tragedy, Anna Clark's The Poisoned City recounts the gripping story of Flint's poisoned water through the people who caused it, suffered from it, and exposed it. It is a chronicle of one town, but could also be about any American city, all made precarious by the neglect of infrastructure and the erosion of democratic decision making. Places like Flint are set up to fail--and for the people who live and work in them, the consequences can be fatal.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781250125149
  • ISBN-10: 1250125146
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Books
  • Publish Date: July 2018
  • Page Count: 320
  • Dimensions: 9.6 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > History > United States - State & Local - Midwest(IA,IL,IN,KS,MI,MN,MO
Books > Political Science > American Government - Local
Books > Technology & Engineering > Environmental - Water Supply

 
BookPage Reviews

A crisis caused by a thousand cuts

Make no mistake: The water crisis that has plagued the people of Flint, Michigan, is not the result of a single decision. Rather, it is the disastrous culmination of state government dysfunction, decades of enforced housing segregation and the meteoric rise and fall of the American automobile industry.

In April of 2014, Flint residents discovered that the water pouring from their faucets was not only undrinkable but also downright toxic. Due to a recent switch in the city’s water supply, Flint’s lead pipes corroded. Initial reports from horrified Flint citizens were largely ignored. By the time the state of Michigan admitted to its mistake, 12 people had died and Flint’s children had been exposed to irrevocable harm. Anna Clark, a journalist and regular contributor to the Detroit Free Press, recounts the tangled series of events that eventually led to the city’s poisoned water supply in The Poisoned City. Clark avoids sanctimonious judgments, but she isn’t afraid to painstakingly show how racism and state-sanctioned white supremacy shaped the socioeconomic policies of Flint.

Flint’s water crisis extends beyond an environmental disaster; it’s a public health and civil rights issue. In a way, it was by design that Flint’s communities of color were hit hardest. Unfortunately, the narrative surrounding Flint’s poisoned water is not an anomaly. For Clark, it’s a reflection of America’s tradition of inequality—the nation’s foundations are structured at the expense of the vulnerable and marginalized. Ultimately, the story of Flint’s water crisis echoes throughout countless American cities.

 

This article was originally published in the July 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews