The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt

The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt

Award-winning author and journalist David Giffels explores the meaning of identity and place, hamburgers, hard work, and basketball in this collection of wry, irreverent essays reflecting on the many aspects of Midwestern culture and life from an insider’s perspective.

In The Hard Way on Purpose, David Giffels takes us on an insider’s journey through the wreckage and resurgence of America’s Rust Belt. A native who never knew the good times, yet never abandoned his hometown of Akron, Giffels plumbs the touchstones and idiosyncrasies of a region where industry has fallen, bowling is a legitimate profession, bizarre weather is the norm, rock ’n’ roll is desperate, thrift store culture thrives, and sports is heartbreak. Intelligent, humorous, and warm, Giffels’s linked essays are about coming of age in the Midwest and about the stubborn, optimistic, and resourceful people who prevail there.

Title:The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781451692754
Format Type:

    The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt Reviews

  • Jen Hirt

    As one of those Rust Belt natives who has left -- but who has friends and family all over Ohio -- and who has written about Ohio and loss herself -- I found this book to be super smart, cathartic, fun...

  • Gayle Pritchard

    This book completely captures the essence of those of us who grew up in the heartland. I discovered Giffels as the Writer in Residence for the Cuyahoga County Public Library system’s Writing Center ...

  • Jak Krumholtz

    Nice collection of essays centering around Akron."Either Akron was unusually culturally significant—special—or every place had its own version of this and was equally culturally significant, which...

  • Sandy

    Having been born and raised in the Rust Belt myself, there is an inherent sense of understanding in what David Giffels writes about in this collection of essays. He was born in Akron, Ohio - a city th...

  • Dee

    An interesting but not very well-written book. I grew up in suburban Detroit and have a pained, defensive love of the city, so books about crumbled Midwestern cities often intrigue me. Still, this boo...

  • Allen Murphey

    Akron, Ohio, is poster child for the demise of Midwest industrial cities at the end of the 20th Century. David Giffels's essays chronicle growing up there as the major industries leave and staying the...

  • Brad

    Reading "The Hard Way on Purpose" is like exploring a place I know, but haven't yet mastered. I grew up in a town 10 miles from Akron, and almost 10 years ago adopted the Rubber City as my home. As Gi...

  • Holly

    I think Giffels is a fine writer with a distinctive style, but I just wasn't interested in most of these pieces about professional sports, hamburgers, nostalgia, and what makes Akron, Ohio special. I ...

  • Sheri Fresonke Harper

    David Giffels has a pleasant, well trained voice from his work as a journalist which slips into irony. These essays describe his views of his hometown Akron, Ohio and the transition from a busy indust...

  • Lily

    Loved Giffels anecdotes about my hometown. He seems to capture a time in Akron that was singular in it's decline and shifting personality. He does a great job capturing the emotions so many of us feel...