Hometown: A Contemporary American Chronicle

Hometown: A Contemporary American Chronicle
Simon & Schuster

Though no travelers’ manual would contain any of what is found here, this is a kind of guidebook. What is mapped are the passions of one American town – Hamilton, Ohio – with the conflicts and harmonies that unite and divide the townspeople. These nonfiction narratives involve a stream of confrontations – among men and women, races, classes, teams, workers and bosses, rich and poor, police and ordinary citizens. A murder wipes out a family’s hopes for normalcy; a prolonged strike impoverishes families and ruins friendships as management threatens to move the company to a non-union southern town. Hometown is an intimate portrayal of Hamilton, where the first recorded event was a hanging and a flood in 1913 virtually destroyed the town. Yet the town, and townspeople, survive and persevere. In a breathtaking climax that splits Hamilton in surprising ways because of a crime that has neither victim nor solution, the community finally confronts itself.

Literary Guild Alternate Selection, optioned by Norman Lear for television series. Read about the documentary television series Middletown, which was inspired by Hometown.



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