Introduction by Daniel Nelson
Ruth McKenney's compelling novel of class and industrial conflict in Akron, Ohio, first appeared in 1939 and was widely acclaimed. McKenney was a capable journalist who had spent a year and a half in Akron, the heart of the tire industry, a city that she said "smells like a rubber band smoldering in an ashtray." Industrial Valley vividly portrays an industrial city crippled by the country's economic failures and also provides a stirring example of fiction predicated on social and political principles. It will intrigue readers for its contemporary as well as its historical implications. The images McKenney evokes of workers confused and enraged by a moribund economy seem startlingly relevant today.