Whose Detroit? Politics, Labor, and Race in a Modern American City

Whose Detroit? Politics, Labor, and Race in a Modern American City

Publication Abstract

Thompson, Heather Ann. 2017. Whose Detroit? Politics, Labor, and Race in a Modern American City. Cornell University Press. (new 2017 edition)

In Whose Detroit?, Heather Ann Thompson focuses in detail on the African American struggles for full equality and equal justice under the law that shaped the Motor City during the 1960s and 1970s. Even after Great Society liberals committed themselves to improving conditions in Detroit, Thompson argues, poverty and police brutality continued to plague both neighborhoods and workplaces. Frustration with entrenched discrimination and the lack of meaningful remedies not only led black residents to erupt in the infamous urban uprising of 1967, but it also sparked myriad grassroots challenges to postwar liberalism in the wake of that rebellion. With deft attention to the historical background and to the dramatic struggles of Detroit's residents, and with a new prologue that argues for the ways in which the War on Crime and mass incarceration also devastated the Motor City over time, Thompson has written a biography of an entire nation at a time of crisis.


Prologue to the 2017 Printing

Introduction: Reassessing the Fate of Postwar Cities, Politics, and Labor

  1. Beyond Racial Polarization: Political Complexity in the City and Labor Movement of the 1950s

  2. Optimism and Crisis in the New Liberal Metropolis

  3. Driving Desperation on the Auto Shop Floor

  4. Citizens, Politicians, and the Escalating War for Detroit's Civic Future

  5. Workers, Officials, and the Escalating War for Detroit's Labor Future

  6. From Battles on City Streets to Clashes in the Courtroom

  7. From Fights for Union Office to Wildcats in the Workplace

  8. Urban Realignment and Labor Retrenchment: An End to Detroit's War at Home

Conclusion: Civic Transformation and Labor Movement Decline in Postwar Urban America


ISBN: 9781501709210

Cornell Press book page

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