The Poisoned City

The first full account of the Flint, Michigan, water scandal, an American tragedy, with new details, from Anna Clark, the award-winning Michigan journalist who has covered the story from its beginnings

When the people of Flint, Michigan, turned on their faucets in April 2014, the water pouring out was poisoned with lead and other toxins. Through a series of disastrous decisions, the state government had switched the city’s water to a source that corroded Flint’s aging lead pipes. Complaints about the foul-smelling water were dismissed: the residents of Flint—a largely poor African American city of about 100,000 people—were not seen as credible, even in matters of their own lives.
It took 18 months of activism and a band of dogged outsiders to force the state to admit that the water was poisonous. But this was only after 12 people died and Flint's children suffered irreparable harm. The long battle for accountability and a humane response to this man-made disaster have only just begun.

In the first full-length account of this epic failure, The Poisoned City recounts the gripping story of Flint’s poisoned water through the people who caused it, suffered from it, and exposed it. It is a chronicle of one town, but could also be about any American city, all made precarious by the neglect of infrastructure and the erosion of democratic decision-making. Cities like Flint are set up to fail—and for the people who live and work in them, the consequences may be mortal.

My Review

I remember hearing about this tragic event. Yet, I like a lot of people I am sure don't know the full details about the events leading up to the big expose and resolution from city officials of Flint. Sadly, it came at a huge price and too late. However, better late than never at all.

Anna shows that many people did suffer. However, one family is a focal point in this book and that is LeeAnne Walters and her family. My heart ached for their story. From the rashes, hair loss, her one son being classified as anemic and having to take iron supplements to living with no water is a pure nightmare. I am glad that LeeAnne did not give up and fought.

Which, brings me to the next important person. Miguel Del Toral. LeeAnne in her telephone calls happen to finally rea the right person. Mr. Toral listened and helped get the wheels turning to justice. Yet, it was not just these two but others that helped as well.

Ms. Clark's experience as a journalist really lends a helping hand to this book. She brought all the facts without missing anything. However, she was able to edit as well to find that fine line between not getting too bogged down in details but providing enough as to not leave the reader feeling unsatisfied. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading nonfiction.


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