Charles Stewart Mott
Boom to Bust
Gordon Young
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Charles Stewart Mott: For the portrait of Flint’s greatest benefactor and his foundation, I relied on a variety of sources, including Fine’s Sit-Down and Pelfrey’s Billy, Alfred and General Motors. But the most comprehensive and insightful examination of Mott is found in “Demolition Means Progress: Race, Class, and the Deconstruction of the American Dream in Flint, Michigan,” a 2009 dissertation (and recently published book from the University of Chicago Press) written by historian Andrew Highsmith. It is an in-depth investigation of how Mott’s philanthropic activities profoundly influenced Flint and furthered Mott’s political and social agenda. With more than $2 billion in assets, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation continues to have a major impact on Flint, funding everything from Italian glass exhibitions at the art museum to community policing initiatives that help the city avoid laying off more cops.