Turning Rust to Gold: Fort Wayne's Fight for Revival is the gripping, true story of a community struggling to rebound from a long, hard fall dating from the 1970s. Real people, tics and warts and all, appear in these pages, sometimes operating at cross purposes with others, sometimes banding together in hopes of making major changes for the better. There are angry meetings and exhilarating celebrations. A leading organization almost declares virtual war on City Hall and then suddenly retreats. Sweeping the conflict under the rug, however, just makes things worse. There's plenty of trouble to come, full of wily chess moves by competing civic grandmasters, and the occasional big surprise.
Yet all the sound and fury signifies something. These people, to a person, on all sides, care about Fort Wayne. Turning Rust to Gold is an economic development thriller that is also, paradoxically, the love story of a community. People are passionate about Indiana's second city. They are willing to fight for it and some of them do. Their enormous communal effort, with a handful of outstanding leaders, appears headed slowly, circuitously, toward success. Fort Wayne, with its flawed and wonderful people, is rich in lessons for those in any place or time who believe they can do something amazing for their home town.