Poisoned City : Flint's Water and the American Urban Tragedy
by Clark, Anna

1 The Well
2 Corrosion
3 Revelations
4 Saturation
5 Alchemy
6 Citizen/Science
7 Meditations in an Emergency
8 Blood
9 Switchback
10 Legion
11 Truth and Reconciliation
12 Genesis
Selected Bibliography289(3)

Documents the 2014 poisoning of the residents of Flint, Michigan, by contaminated water, and the ensuing 18-month activism case that only got the state to admit its complicity after 12 people died and many others suffered permanent injuries.

Anna Clark is a journalist living in Detroit. Her writing has appeared in ELLE Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, the Columbia Journalism Review, Next City, and other publications. Anna edited A Detroit Anthology, a Michigan Notable Book, and she had been a writer-in-residence in Detroit public schools as part of the InsideOut Literary Arts program. She has also been a Fulbright fellow in Nairobi, Kenya, and a Knight-Wallace journalism fellow at the University of Michigan. Her books include The Poisoned City and Michigan Literary Luminaries.

*Starred Review* In the first full accounting of the Flint water crisis, Clark combines a staggering amount of research and several intimate story lines to reveal how the Michigan city was poisoned by its leaders and then largely abandoned to its fate by state officials. Entirely a man-made environmental catastrophe, the incident made Flint the face of America's burgeoning infrastructure meltdown. Incisive and informed, Clark takes readers through events in the city's political, social, and cultural history as she focuses on the circumstances that brought in an emergency manager. The state's rampant disregard for Flint's residents and struggling economy is mind-blowing, and the many officials (including some in the EPA) who exerted more energy covering up the crisis than stopping it emerge as cowards of the first order. Clark takes no prisoners, naming all the names and presenting the confirming research. "Neglect," she warns, "is not a passive force in American cities, but an aggressive one." The Poisoned City is an environmental tent revival for people who continue to suffer and a call to arms for everyone who values professional local journalism. Amen, Anna Clark, Amen. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

The story of the Flint, Michigan, water crisis. In 2014, the city of Flint—pop. 99,000, majority black—turned off its drinking water in preparation for joining a new regional water system. In the meantime, the city began using Flint River water. Officials said the interim source was safe. It wasn't. In this complex, exquisitely detailed account, freelance journalist and Detroit Free Press contributor Clark (Michigan Literary Luminaries, 2015, etc.) draws on interviews, emails, and other materials to describe the ensuing catastrophe, in which city, state, and federal officials engaged in delays and coverups for 18 months while residents complained of discolored drinking water that caused rashes, hair loss, and diseases. Citizen demands for government action went ignored, "even ridiculed," until public pressure, media coverage, and independent studies revealed the cause of the contaminated water: lead and other toxins traveling through aging pipes that lacked mandat ed corrosion control. The shameful story has its heroes—e.g., persistent engineer Marc Edwards, journalist Curt Guyette, and NPR's Michigan Radio—and its "buck-passing and turf-guarding" villains, including countless officials who dodged responsibilities while lead-laced water killed 12 people and left a lingering uncertainty over possible long-term health effects. "An Obscene Failure of Government," said a Detroit Free Press story. Clark goes far beyond the immediate crisis—captured nationally in images of bottled water being distributed to Flint's poor, the most severely affected—to explain "decades of negligence" that had mired the city in "debt, dysfunctional urban policy, disappearing investment, disintegrating infrastructure, and a compromised democratic process." She warns that other declining American cities are similarly threatened. A report of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission pointed to the long-standing "systemic racism" of segregated F l int, once a General Motors-led innovation hub that attracted many African-American workers. The city faces continuing lawsuits and use of bottled water until lead pipes are replaced by 2020. A potent cautionary tale of urban neglect and indifference. Infuriated readers will be heartened by the determined efforts of protesters and investigative reporters. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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