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WYSO Stories

Book Nook: Glass House - the 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town

Vick Mickunas and Brian Alexander
Vick Mickunas and Brian Alexander

Brian Alexander is a writer who is based in San Diego. He grew up in Lancaster, Ohio. Alexander had been considering his next book project when he paid a visit to his old hometown. He was astonished to discover that this once thriving community had fallen on hard times. The manufacturing base in Lancaster has been in decline for some time. Alexander realized that his next book project should to be an investigation of what happened to this sweet little town.

 

Vick Mickunas and Brian Alexander
Vick Mickunas and Brian Alexander

Alexander investigated the roots of Lancaster's decline. This story will sound familiar to many residents of the so-called Rust Belt. Lancaster had been a center for the manufacturing of products made from glass. One manufacturer in particular, Anchor-Hocking, had been a bedrock employer for generations. So what happened? As you listen to this interview you'll obtain a better understanding of how Lancaster and many other towns in our region saw their once finely calibrated manufacturing bases deteriorate then slowly fade away.

This is a cautionary tale but also a hopeful one. They are still making glass in Lancaster but it certainly isn't like it used to be. If you want to be able to comprehend how our manufacturing base has been allowed to wither you'll need to scrutinize all the factors to get a complete picture of the causes of industrial decay. Alexander has done that. This is an important book.

The Book Nook on WYSO is made possible by five local library systems in southwest Ohio:  the Greene County Public LibraryWashington-Centerville Public LibraryClark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

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