Why 6 Million People Left the Rust Belt and 6 Million Stayed

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Arthur Rothstein photograph of housing conditions in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, during the American great Depression, 1938.

When the factories and mines closed during the 1970s, approximately 6 million people left their homes in the Rust Belt. Writer Paul Hertneky grew up in Ambridge, Pennsylvania and talks about his book Rust Belt Boy: Stories of an American Childhood, a collection of essays set in his hometown. He tells the story of the children and grandchildren of immigrants who grew up in the Rust Belt during the 1950s and ‘60s, the 6 million people who left, and the 6 million who stayed.