About the city
The Flint water crisis is the latest catastrophe to befall my hometown, a place that not so long ago was a prosperous bastion of the middle class known as the “Happiest Place in Michigan.” And it won’t be the last unless we radically change how we treat struggling American cities and the people who live there.
At the height of the real estate bubble, Gordon Young and his girlfriend buy a tiny house in their dream city, San Francisco. They’re part of a larger influx of creative types moving to urban centers, drawn by the promise of fulfilling jobs, bars that offer a dizzying selection of artisanal bourbons, and the satisfaction that comes from thinking...
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Gordon Young grew up in Flint, Michigan, the birthplace of General Motors, where his accomplishments included learning to parallel park the family's massive Buick Electra 225. After reaching an uneasy truce with the nuns in the local Catholic school system, he went on to study journalism at the University of Missouri and English literature at...
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Praise for Teardown
One can read Teardown and go 'My, my, my! What a horrid town! Thank God I don't live there!' Oh, but you do. Just as the 'Roger & Me Flint' of the 1980s was the precursor to a wave of downsizing that eventually hit every American community, Gordon Young's Flint of 2013, as so profoundly depicted in this book, is your latest warning of what's in store for you — all of you, no matter where you live — in the next decade. The only difference between your town and Flint is that the Grim Reaper just likes to visit us first. It's all here in Teardown, a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once great American city.Michael Moore, filmmaker, author, activist
A poignant, often funny look at an iconic Rust Belt city struggling to recover.Vanessa Bush, Booklist
Young shines a spotlight on a broken city and the efforts of those desperate to save it, but this is also the story of a man confronting a crisis of identity and finding hope where there seemed to be none.Publishers Weekly
Armed with an aluminum baseball bat and a truth-seeking pen, Gordon Young returns to the post-industrial wasteland of his hometown — Vehicle City, aka Flint, Michigan — in search of a derelict house to buy and restore. At least that's his cover story. Young's true mission is to reclaim his past in order to make sense of his present. If you're bewitched by the place where you grew up, you'll find comfort and a sense of home in the pages of Teardown.Jack Shafer, Politico