Cover: Why the Garden Club Couldn't Save Youngstown: The Transformation of the Rust Belt, from Harvard University PressCover: Why the Garden Club Couldn't Save Youngstown in HARDCOVER

Why the Garden Club Couldn't Save Youngstown

The Transformation of the Rust Belt

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Product Details


$42.00 • £33.95 • €38.00

ISBN 9780674031760

Publication Date: 01/31/2009


224 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

16 line illustrations, 20 tables


This extraordinary look inside the fates of two down-and-out Rust Belt cities—how one came back from decline and the other went into a death spiral—has lessons for cities everywhere. It challenges the benefits of being a tight-knit community and shows, instead, that the people who bridge and connect among a city’s networks prove most valuable. So who are your city’s connectors? If you don’t know, you’d better find out.—Carol Coletta, President and CEO, CEOs for Cities

An innovative work of scholarship, in method, phenomenon, and theory.—Gerald McDermott, University of Pennsylvania

Safford offers a compelling account of the very different paths taken by Allentown and Youngstown in response to the ‘rust belt’ crisis of the 1980s. More generally, he contributes to the emerging institutional perspective on strategic action. Situated at the intersection of social movement and organizational theory, this body of scholarship is emerging as an influential and fundamentally sociological challenge to rational choice and other theories of collective action. Safford advances this tradition even as he draws on its insights.—Doug McAdam, Stanford University

Safford’s work represents a clear advance in understanding the importance of networks for industrial and community development. He presents his case very effectively.—Keith Provan, University of Arizona

A fascinating study of the determinants of regional competitiveness in the U.S., Why the Garden Club Couldn’t Save Youngstown has important lessons for scholars and policymakers interested in economic adaptation.—AnnaLee Saxenian, author of New Argonauts: Regional Advantage in the Global Economy

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