The introduction first surveys the historical literature on deindustrialization. Studies following a labor history approach examine the impact of factory shutdowns on workers, unions, and industrial communities. Authors with an economic and business history perspective examine the reasons established industries went into decline. More recent scholarship explores the effects of industrial decline on politics and public policy, focusing on attempts to generate new employment in localities hit by downsizing. Despite their value, none of the recent works gives a comprehensive picture of the impact of deindustrialization on politics and policymaking in the economic sphere. This volume aims to do so. The introduction summarizes the book’s principal findings. Finally, the introduction notes that responses to deindustrialization in New England were shaped by shifts in national politics, with government-centered initiatives more common in times when liberalism was ascendant and with government taking a less prominent role during more conservative eras.
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