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Author Kinney, Rebecca J., 1979-

Title Beautiful wasteland : the rise of Detroit as America's postindustrial frontier / Rebecca J. Kinney
Published Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 2016
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (pages cm)
Contents Introduction: Building a beautiful wasteland -- It's turned into a race thing : white innocence and the old neighborhood -- Picturing ruin and possibility : the rise of the postindustrial frontier -- Fanning the embers : branding Detroit as a phoenix rising -- Flickers of the American dream : filming possibility in decline -- Feeding Detroit's rise : provisions for urban pioneers -- Conclusion: The strait : a tale of two cities
Summary "The first book to analyze how contemporary ideas of Detroit circulate in popular culture in order to map the extension of the mythology of the frontier in American culture. Kinney analyzes a cross-section of twentieth and twenty first century cultural locations--an internet web forum, architectural photography, advertising and commercial culture, documentary film, and print and online media--to reveal the continued process of racialization in stories we tell about the rise, fall, and potential for rise again in Detroit. Kinney argues that the contemporary stories produced and told about Detroit enable the erasure of white privilege and systemic racism in the past and the present. By situating Detroit as a 'beautiful wasteland, ' both desirable and distressed, the author shows how the narrative of ruin and possibility form a mutually constituted relationship: the city is possible precisely because of its perceived ruin. As an interdisciplinary text that weaves together popular narratives and visual stories to the scholarly conversations on racial formation, urban development, and urban history, Kinney illuminates the interplay between history and culture in the twenty first century American city. Beautiful Wasteland will appeal to a wide cross-section of audiences including: scholars of Ethnic Studies, American Studies, Popular Culture, Urban Studies. Additionally its compelling and easily accessible case studies make it an accessible book for lay audiences and use in introductory courses"--Author's website
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Description based on print version record
Subject City and town life -- Michigan -- Detroit.
Frontier and pioneer life -- United States.
Popular culture -- United States.
Public opinion -- United States.
Racism in popular culture -- United States.
Urban renewal -- Michigan -- Detroit.
Detroit (Mich.) -- Economic conditions.
Detroit (Mich.) -- Public opinion.
Detroit (Mich.) -- Race relations.
Detroit (Mich.) -- Social conditions.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 1452953384 (electronic bk.)
9781452953380 (electronic bk.)