Chloe Taft, a postdoctoral associate and lecturer in American Studies at Yale, talked about her new book, From Steel to Slots: Casino Capitalism in the Postindustrial City (Harvard University Press, 2016), with Chicago radio station WNUR this month. The book is a study of economic transition in Bethlehem, PA, the former headquarters of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation that is now host to an industrial-themed casino. As she discusses in the interview, “We often think of extractive industries in the environmental sense - that there is a finite amount of resources that can be drawn out of the earth - but in the case of landfills, or prisons, or casinos, they’re extractive in a social and economic sense. While there may be some short term gains, it’s unclear what the longterm effects on a community could be.” The book, based on ethnographic and archival research, grows out of Taft’s dissertation (Yale American Studies PhD 2014), which won best dissertation awards from the Urban History Association and the Society for City and Regional Planning History in 2015.
The interview is available here: https://thisishell.com/interviews/894-chloe-taft