Good with their hands [electronic resource] : boxers, bluesmen, and other characters from the Rust Belt /
Carlo Rotella.
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2002.
ix, 269 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0520225627 (alk. paper)
More Details
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2002.
0520225627 (alk. paper)
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Truth and beauty in the Rust Belt -- The culture of the hands -- Too many notes -- Grittiness -- Rocky Marciano's ghost -- Getting there.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Carlo Rotella is Assistant Professor of English and American Studies at Boston College
Flap Copy
"This is a brilliant study, warm and frequently thrilling, of an inspired combination of subjects. Postindustrial American urban culture has found its great poet-theorist in Carlo Rotella."--William Finnegan, author ofCold New World: Growing Up in a Harder Country "In the hands of others, we have learned much about the process of deindustrialization. Rotella powerfully brings the reader to the core of these socio-economic transitions in a manner that is almost palpable in its ability to connect the reader to any one of his subjects. Rotella held me, taught me, opened my eyes to an appreciation of new ways of seeing. The writing is electric, the broader conceptual framework is rich and complex, and his touch is deft throughout the book."--Nick Salvatore, coauthor ofWe All Got History: The Memory Books of Amos Webber
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, August 2002
Booklist, September 2002
New York Times Book Review, November 2002
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Bowker Data Service Summary
A paean to America's Rust Belt, this text explores four milieus caught up in a great transformation of city life: women's boxing in Erie, Pennsylvania; Buddy Guy and the blues scene in Chicago; police work and crime stories in New York City; and urban renewal in Brockton, Massachusetts.
Main Description
Eloquent profiles of how ordinary people (boxers, blues musicians, cops) have coped with the end of industrial work.
Long Description
This eloquent, streetwise book is a paean to America's Rust Belt and a compelling exploration of four milieus caught up in a great transformation of city life. With loving attention to detail and a fine sense of historical context, Carlo Rotella explores women's boxing in Erie, Pennsylvania; Buddy Guy and the blues scene in Chicago; police work and crime stories in New York City, especially as they converged in the making of the movieThe French Connection;and attempts at urban renewal in the classic mill city of Brockton, Massachusetts. Navigating through accrued layers of cultural, economic, and personal history, Rotella shows how stories of city life can be found in a boxing match, a guitar solo, a chase scene in a movie, or a landscape. The stories he tells dramatize the coming of the postindustrial era in places once defined by their factories, a sweeping set of changes that has remade the form and meaning of American urbanism. A native of the Rust Belt whose own life resonates with these stories, Rotella has gone to the home turfs of his characters, hanging out in boxing gyms and blues clubs, riding along with cops and moviemakers, discussing the future of Brockton with a visionary artist and a pitbull-fancying janitor who both plan to save the city's soul. These people make culture with their hands, and hands become an expressive metaphor for Rotella as he traces the links between their individual talents and the urban scenes in which they flourish. His writing elegantly connects what happens on the street to the larger story of urban transformation, especially the shift from a way of life that demanded individuals be "good with their hands" to one that depends on the intellectual and social skills fostered by formal education and service work. Strong feelings emerge in this book about what has been lost and gained in the long, slow aging-out of the industrial city. But Rotella's journey through the streets has its ultimate reward in discovering deep-rooted instances of what he calls "truth and beauty in the Rust Belt."
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. ix
Introduction: Truth and Beauty in the Rust Beltp. 1
The Culture of the Handsp. 13
Too Many Notesp. 51
Grittinessp. 105
Rocky Marciano's Ghostp. 167
Conclusion: Getting Therep. 231
Acknowledgmentsp. 241
Notesp. 243
Indexp. 259
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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