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From Steel to Slots: Casino Capitalism in the Postindustrial City

Taft, Chloe E.

Published by Harvard University Press
ISBN 10: 0674660498 / ISBN 13: 9780674660496
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Title: From Steel to Slots: Casino Capitalism in ...

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New


Bethlehem PA was synonymous with steel. But after the factories closed, the city bet its future on casino gambling. Chloe Taft describes a city struggling to make sense of the ways global capitalism transforms jobs, landscapes, and identities. While residents often have few cards to play, the shape economic progress takes is not inevitable. Num Pages: 320 pages, maps. BIC Classification: JFFS; JHMC; KCU. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 235 x 156. . . 2016. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780674660496

About this title:


Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was once synonymous with steel. But after the factories closed, the city bet its future on a new industry: casino gambling. On the site of the former Bethlehem Steel plant, thousands of flashing slot machines and digital bells replaced the fires in the blast furnaces and the shift change whistles of the industrial workplace. From Steel to Slots tells the story of a city struggling to make sense of the ways in which local jobs, landscapes, and identities are transformed by global capitalism.

Postindustrial redevelopment often makes a clean break with a city?s rusted past. In Bethlehem, where the new casino is industrial-themed, the city?s heritage continues to dominate the built environment and infuse everyday experiences. Through the voices of steelworkers, casino dealers, preservationists, immigrants, and executives, Chloe Taft examines the ongoing legacies of corporate presence and urban development in a small city?and their uneven effects.

Today, multinational casino corporations increasingly act as urban planners, promising jobs and new tax revenues to ailing communities. Yet in an industry premised on risk and capital liquidity, short-term gains do not necessarily mean long-term commitments to local needs. While residents often have few cards to play in the face of global capital and private development, Taft argues that the shape economic progress takes is not inevitable, nor must it always look forward. Memories of corporations? accountability to communities persist, and citizens see alternatives for more equitable futures in the layered landscapes all around them.

About the Author: Chloe E. Taft is a Mellon Postdoctoral Associate in the Integrated Humanities in the American Studies Program at Yale University.

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