Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. 8-9

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xi

This book took shape over a productive period of sabbatical release time, together with more summers of research and writing than I care to remember. In the process I have become deeply indebted, intellectually and otherwise, to several friends and ...

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Chapter 1“Local CommunitiesAre No Match forIndustrial Corporations”

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pp. 1-10

Lima, the county seat of Allen County, is a weathered industrial city of about forty thousand people, set against the flat and prosperous farmlands of northwest Ohio. It still possesses a certain charm. Local people can boast of a set of nearly new schools, a few grand old boulevards ...

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Chapter 2 Oil Town

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pp. 11-36

In May 1885, after weeks of drilling, oil came shooting upward out of a hole along a riverbank in downtown Lima. By all accounts, the oil was nasty stuff. Black, greasy, and smelling strongly of sulfur, it turned the dust of the drill site into a sticky ...

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Chapter 3 Rust Belt

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pp. 37-72

Late in 1965, the members of Lima’s city council decided the city needed its own official flag and solicited possible designs through a citywide contest. The winning entry came from Shirley Barr of Lakewood Avenue. In return for $100 prize money and a brief moment of local fame, Mrs. Barr offered her city a white flag with red ...

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Chapter 4 Resistance

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pp. 73-100

David Berger arrived in Lima in the summer of 1977 for what he thought would be a two-year break before resuming final studies for a career as a Catholic priest. He had come to town as executive director of the Rehab Project—a heady title for a twenty-two-year-old philosophy ...

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Chapter 5 Scorched Earth

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pp. 101-142

In 1996, two parallel but fundamentally incompatible trajectories collided at the Lima refinery. One of them emanated from the agenda of its owners, the corporate executives of British Petroleum. As seen from BP headquarters in London, or through the eyes of American ...

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Chapter 6 “It Was Like a Death—to the Town”

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pp. 143-166

In the nineteen years from 1963 to 1982, America saw the closing of a hundred thousand manufacturing plants, resulting in about twenty-two million lost jobs. Like newspaper accounts of mass famines or war refugees, such statistics are so overwhelming as to be numbing. Lost, too, in the cumulative statistics is something ...

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Chapter 7 “Whether We’re for BPor against BP,We All Sound Conspiratorial”

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pp. 167-207

Throughout their long struggle to save the Lima refinery, Mayor Berger and his comrades on the task force never seemed to raise their heads above the immediate crisis and take an honest look at the odds they faced. If they had done so, they might have realized, as any number ...

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Chapter 8 Victory

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pp. 208-240

While traveling for BP in Japan in January 1998, Gary Greve placed repeated phone calls one day to Dave Berger’s office back in Lima. The mayor’s secretary passed on the message: Greve needed to reach Berger urgently. When Berger finally caught up with the BP executive late ...

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Epilogue“Nobody Was Defending UsExcept Ourselves”

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pp. 241-250

In the happy glow that immediately followed his company’s profitable sale of the Lima refinery to Clark Oil, BP senior executive Ian Conn ventured to a Wall Street Journal reporter that the sale certainly seemed “the correct final chapter” to the story. Conn may have been an ...

Notes

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pp. 251-286

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 287-292

Index

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pp. 293-299