Paul Clemens, author of Punching Out: One Year in a Closing Auto Plant and Made in Detroit will speak at the Baldwin Public Library on Wednesday, February 1 at 7 p.m. Mr. Clemens’ appearance is made possible with the support of the Jane Cameron Endowment Fund.
How does a country dismantle a century’s worth of its industrial heritage? To answer that question, Mr. Clemens investigates the 2006 closing of one of America’s most potent symbols: a Detroit auto plant. Prior to its closing, the Budd Company stamping plant on Detroit’s East Side, built in 1919, was one of the oldest active auto plants in America’s foremost industrial city—one whose history includes the nation’s proudest moments and those of its working class. Its closing also reflects the character of the country in a new era—the sad, brutal process of picking it apart and sending it, piece by piece, to the countries that now have use for its machines.
Punching Out is an up-close report, at once tender and angry, from the meanest, sharpest edge of America’s deindustrialization, and a lament for a working-class culture that once defined a prosperous America—and that is now on the verge of economic extinction.
Books will be available for purchase and signing from Book Beat bookstore. Pre-order with Book Beat at 248-968-1190.
Paul Clemens was born in 1973 and raised on Detroit’s East Side. His work has appeared in the New York Times and the New York Times Magazine. His book Made in Detroit (Doubleday, 2005) was a 2005 New York Times Book Review Notable Book. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Writers’ Award.