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Killing Me Softly: Toxic Waste, Corporate Profit, and the Struggle for Environmental Justiceby Jack Smith
Synopses & Reviews
The political economy of toxic waste was summed up by Lawrence Summers
Smith and Girdner's Killing Me Softlyexamines the growth of the toxic waste industry and the economic logic behind its expansion. It gives a hard-hitting account of the damage it has done throughout the United States. It focuses in particular on the struggle of the people of Mercer County, Missouri, against the plans of Amoco Waste-Tech to establish a huge toxic waste landfill in the county. It shows how the persistence of ordinary people in a poor and politically marginalized area could prevail against the predations of corporate power.
Although race and ethnicity play a crucial role in deciding which communities are targeted for toxic waste dumps, Smith and Girdner argue that the critical cleavage within the United States and globally is that of class. The struggle for environmental justice has an important role to play in empowering poor communities and bringing them into a larger movement for social justice.
Book News Annotation:
Girdner (international relations, Bashkent U., Turkey) and Smith (English and philosophy, North Central Missouri College) examine the toxic waste industry and the economic logic behind its expansion. The authors contend that class is the main factor determining where toxic waste dumps are sited both in the U.S. and globally. The text centers around the story of how the politically marginalized people of Mercer County, Missouri successfully resisted the attempts of Amoco Waste- Tech to build a toxic landfill in their area.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. -158) and index.
About the Author
Eddie J. Girdnerteaches International Relations at Bashkent University in Ankara, Turkey. He is the author of People and Power: An Introduction to Politics .
Jack Smithteaches English and Philosophy at North Central Missouri College. His fiction and reviews have been published in a number of literary reviews. He is co-editor of the Green Hills Literary Lantern.
Table of Contents
The toxic political economy — Wasting America: capitalism, waste, and the market in the United States — Environmental justice, democracy, and grassroots political struggle — The people's struggle against Amoco waste-tech in Mercer County, Missouri — Lessons from Mercer County — Wasting the world: enclosure, accumulation and local environmental struggles on a global scale.
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