Tomorrow Never Came

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Tomorrow Never Came: Race, Class, Reform, Conflict, and the Decline of an Industrial City, Toledo, Ohio, 1930-1980

thesis
posted on 15.03.2021, 15:26 by Bradley Sommer
Toledo, Ohio sits firmly in the middle of the great North American Manufacturing Belt and the American Midwest yet remains on the periphery in the historiographies of urbanization, industrialization and deindustrialization, labor, race relations, and the social and economic development of postwar America. These issues are treated with great scrutiny in analyses of cities such as Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit, and the arguments of these studies and historians have offered rich debate and historical context to many important historical and contemporary questions. Despite the elegance and quality of these works, they are limited by their scope. Most of the Midwest did not live in cities of that size. It was more common for the average
Midwesterner to live in a place like Gary, Indiana, East St. Louis, Illinois, or Toledo, Ohio. The forces that dramatically shaped the United States’ industrial heartland – the area called the “Rust Belt” today – were present in the focal points of this industrial economy but also in the many
interconnected cities and towns that made the machine go. “Tomorrow Never Came” aims to situate the City of Toledo, Ohio into that conversation, discussing how Toledo fit into this larger picture while simultaneously examining and critiquing the ways in which larger national forces
did or did not play out there, pushing back on some of the larger conclusions that exist in the current scholarship. In so doing, I hope to make the case for Toledo, Ohio as a worthy inclusion to the literature but also as a standalone subject. The unique characteristics of Toledo challenge some of our standing assumptions about the Midwest, American industrialization and deindustrialization, and tell the story one important part of a larger story that we all know but is
still incomplete.

History

Date

05/03/2021

Advisor(s)

Joe William Trotter, Jr. Nico Slate Kathleen Newman

Department

History

Exports