American Radio Works: "Hard Times in Middletown"

Sun, 07/12/2009 - 10:00pm
Sarah Lyttle_140.jpg
Pictured: Sarah Lyttle, featured in the radio documentary, is a divorced mother of three, she never saw poverty coming.
Credit: Stephen Smith
In 1929, the Rockefeller Institute published a scientific study of a “typical American city.” Middletown: A Study of Modern American Culture took an intimate look at church, school, family, and work in Muncie, Indiana. The book was an instant hit and is still in print. It launched Muncie’s reputation as the most widely studied small town in the world.

Muncie is now viewed as a rust-belt city grappling with de-industrialization and a deepening recession. As they watch the plants close, many middle-class and middle-aged residents are left without choices in terms of economic turmoil. American Radio Works: Hard Times in Middletown, airing Sunday, July 12 at 10 p.m. on AM 1370/ HD 91.5-2, helps us to understand how the economic crisis is affecting the town and people who once defined the American middle class.