In the first installment of the two-volume collection Where The Streets Are Paved With Rust, journalist and former Obama and Clinton campaign advisor Bruce Fisher explores wealth, poverty, hopes, and illusions in America’s struggling north. In these essays about Rust Belt communities, Fisher carefully but vigorously challenges. He tackles real-estate developers; knocks liberals who won’t embrace metro government; excoriates conservatives for their racist code-words; nudges us to revisit the debate between Heidegger and Cassirer; and explains the brilliance of streetcars and urban wildlife, the persistence of black male workforce exclusion, the centrality of water quality, and many other issues that shape cities. Fisher takes deep dives into data, scholarship, and history — as he does nearly weekly for The Public, Western New York’s leading independent weekly newspaper.
Fisher’s scope is broad, he wears his erudition lightly, and his work is ever about crossing boundaries — in celebration of what’s to be found across the line.
Praise for Where The Streets Are Paved With Rust:
The financial decline of the middle class is the issue of our time. Bruce Fisher’s Where The Streets Are Paved With Rust is a must read for anyone seriously trying to understand why it happened and how to fix it.
— Ted Kaufman, former United States Senator and advisor to Vice President Joe Biden
To understand Rust Belt politics, you can't do better than to read Bruce Fisher's excellent essay collection. A multi-generational son of Buffalo, Fisher brings erudition, wit, and heart to these studies, with a deep understanding of regional history, cultural geography, and public policy. Forget the Big Foot journalists suddenly traveling around interviewing random locals at the diner in the Age of Trump. Local journalist Bruce Fisher tells you everything you need to know, through the prism of Buffalo, about culture and politics in flyover country.
— Catherine Tumber, author of Small, Gritty, and Green: The Promise of America’s Smaller Industrial Cities in a Low-Carbon World (MIT Press, 2012), Penn Institute of Urban Research Scholar, MassINC Gateway Cities Fellow, and UMass Donahue Institute Research Manager