The United States Steel Corporation founded Gary in 1906 as an experiment in industrial urban planning, and the inscription on the city's official seal accordingly proclaims it the "City of the Century." Gary proved to be no more immune to the woes of industrialization than any other American city, however. To some, in fact, it has come to epitomize all that is wrong with contemporary urban life. But as this book clearly shows, the people of Gary have refused to surrender their sense of hope, their dignity, and their pride to the prophesiers of doom.
At once scholarly and colorful, "City of the Century" is an outgrowth of urban historian James B. Lane's popular weekly columns for the Gary Post-Tribune. Lane uses the oral testimony of the people of Gary to tell a fascinating story. There are episodes of personal tragedy and heroism here, of frustrated dreams and tarnished reputations, and of challenges met and obstacles overcome.