Josiah Rector, Eric Lewis, Michael Katz discussed on podcast – Lawyers, Guns & Money


Podcast. This is Eric Lewis. And I am here today with Josiah rector, who is an assistant Professor of history at the university of Houston. And we are here to talk about his brand new book. Toxic debt and environmental justice history of Detroit, which was published, I believe last year by the university of North Carolina. Press, it has been reviewed in great depth in the New York review of books, which is quite an achievement for a regular old U.S. historian and review our books very often. So that was pretty amazing. And Josiah has had quite a career already. He won the urban history associations. Michael Katz award for best dissertation in urban history. He's been published in the journal of American history, modern American history, he's been involved in a variety of activist activities as well. And he is really one of the bright young historians in the field of U.S. history. And so we're really happy to have him today and Josiah, thanks for joining us. Thanks for having me, Eric, it's great to be with you. Yeah, could you start by just kind of talking about your book a little bit? Absolutely. Yeah, so this book comes out of dissertation I wrote at Wayne state university. I was a grad student there from 2010 to 2017, and I lived in Detroit for 6 out of those 7 years. And I spent the last 5 years extensively revising it, doing more interviews, doing more archival research, but basically the book is a history of environmental inequality in metro Detroit primarily the city and its inner ring suburbs from the Gilded Age to the COVID-19 pandemic. And I take the story of environmental inequality through the rise and fall of the auto industry into the city's municipal bankruptcy in the 2010s and the sort of recent developments that we can get into if we have time. But basically the punchline of the book as suggested by the title is that

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