Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage

Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage

by Jeff Benedict

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Overview

SOON TO BE A MOTION PICTURE STARRING CATHERINE KEENER THAT "BRINGS URGENCY TO A FASCINATING, UNDER-EXPLORED THEME." - THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Suzette Kelo was just trying to rebuild her life when she purchased a falling down Victorian house perched on the waterfront in New London, CT. The house wasn't particularly fancy, but with lots of hard work Suzette was able to turn it into a home that was important to her, a home that represented her new found independence.

Little did she know that the City of New London, desperate to revive its flailing economy, wanted to raze her house and the others like it that sat along the waterfront in order to win a lucrative Pfizer pharmaceutical contract that would bring new business into the city. Kelo and fourteen neighbors flat out refused to sell, so the city decided to exercise its power of eminent domain to condemn their homes, launching one of the most extraordinary legal cases of our time, a case that ultimately reached the United States Supreme Court.

In Little Pink House, award-winning investigative journalist Jeff Benedict takes us behind the scenes of this case — indeed, Suzette Kelo speaks for the first time about all the details of this inspirational true story as one woman led the charge to take on corporate America to save her home.

"Passionate...a page-turner with conscience." — Publishers Weekly

"Catherine Keener nails the combination of anger, grace, and attitude that made Susette Kelo a nationally known crusader." — Deadline Hollywood

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446508629
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 01/26/2009
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 794,980
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Jeff Benedict is considered one of America's top investigative journalists. He has published several acclaimed books, including The Mormon Way of Doing Business, Out of Bounds, Pros and Cons and Without Reservation. His articles have been published in Sports Illustrated, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, and he has appeared on ESPN, NBC Nightly News, CBS's 60 Minutes, and ABC News.

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Little Pink House 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story is so unbelievable that if it had been fiction, I would have put it down thinking it implausible. A well written, incredible story.
Sharon Doerr More than 1 year ago
Jeff Benedict is truly a gifted writer! He has taken an issue that could have been a very dry read and turned it into an exciting story that, while unfortunately true, reads like a novel! I couldn't put it down! I want to read more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Little Pink House displays the sad state of greed and power in the United States. It clearly esablishes the lengths that people, cities, and corporations will go to when desiring more money/tax dollars. And to think Pfizer gets involved because of a little pill we all know as Viagra. The residents of Fort Trumbell stand strong despite the threats and money waved before them. Eminent Domain at its very worst.
24girl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Susette Kelo¿s five boys grew up and moved out of the rural house she shared with her husband it became apparent that their marriage was no longer working. Susette made the decision to leave him and move out on her own. Having also made the decision to use no money from their joint account all Susette was able to afford was a small fixer upper on the waterfront in New London, Connecticut.Around the same time Susette purchased her new home and began to fix it up. The New London Development Corporation was formulating a plan to re-develop the waterfront which included the Ft. Trumbull area where Susette¿s house was located by selling the land to the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. When Susette and more than a few of her neighbors refused to sell, the city and the NLDC tried to take their homes using eminent domain, the law which allows the state to seize a citizen's private property for public use. What resulted was court case that made it all the way to the Supreme Court and a fight that lasted over 9 years. Blurb: ¿In Little Pink House, award-winning investigative journalist Jeff Benedict takes us behind the scenes of this case -- indeed, Susette Kelo speaks for the first time about all the details of this inspirational true story as one woman led the charge to take on corporate America to save her home.¿The amazing spirit of Susette Kelo and the other families that refused to leave is so moving. They refused to back down when it seemed impossible that they would ever win. I admire they way Susette showed no sign of weakness in front of the big corporation and the rest of her opposition. The news stories about the case became national news and the Supreme Court ruling became one of the most unpopular rulings of all time. Since this case states either have or are considering amendments to the eminent domain law which prohibit the state turning over land seized under the guise of public use over to private corporations.My review is based on the abridged audio version which was read by Maggi-Meg Reed. I think that listening to this as opposed to reading gave me a better mental picture of Susette as fighter and a strong woman to admire. I highly recommend this book to readers of all genres as it is an inspirational story.
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Rahbin08 More than 1 year ago
I learned so much about the eminent domain laws fo this country! I can't believe this could happen in America.
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AngeLawAD More than 1 year ago
This was a good read of a very controversial Supreme Court Decision. The Kelo case brought about change in Eminent Domain legislation in over 43 States.
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RdrWrtr More than 1 year ago
This is a real story about real people. You get to know them and you care about what happens to them. This is one of those books that makes you aware of the dangers of government without oversight, the power plays that take place in communities when one person gets too much control, and how one person can really, really make a difference by standing up for what they believe in. The Little Pink House is well-researched and written in language we can all understand. Susette Kelo and her neighbors fought the good fight, all the way to the Supreme Court. They should have won. Our book club read this and had a lively discussion about eminent domain and the rights of every citizen. We learned a lot.
Twink More than 1 year ago
Susette Kelo decides to leave her second marriage - her five sons are grown, she has had to struggle much of her life and she just wants to have a little house overlooking the water that belongs to her. She finds an older home in the working class Fort Trumble neighbourhood of New London, Connecticut. It needs some work, but the view of the water is priceless. She fixes it up slowly while studying for her nursing degree.

At the same time pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, just across the river, is looking to expand it's facilities by building a new research and clinical centre. In an effort to woo them, the city of New London, in the form of the New London Development Corporation (NLDC) offers Pfizer, free of charge, a four million dollar piece of property. Pfizer is also interested in having suitable housing, shopping and recreational facilities nearby.

And here's where two worlds collide. The NLDC decides that ninety acres, including Susette's neighbourhood, is better suited to Pfizer's needs than that of the people living there. Pfizer will generate jobs and more taxes. The NLDC invokes eminent domain and decides to take the houses.

Eminent Domain is defined as the power of the federal or state government to take private property for a public purpose, even if the property owner objects. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution allows the government to take private property if the taking is for a public use and the owner is "justly compensated" (usually, paid fair market value) for his or her loss. A public use is virtually anything that is sanctioned by a federal or state legislative body, but such uses may include roads, parks, reservoirs, schools, hospitals or other public buildings.

Little Pink House is the story of Susette Kelo and her refusal to let her house be taken. In a fight that went to the Supreme Court, the Kelo case is a landmark.

Investigative journalist Jeff Benedict has done extensive interviewing, providing coverage of not just Susette's view, but that of the opposing side.

The reader, Maggi-Meg Reed, does an excellent job. She captures Susette's defiance, courage and determination perfectly. Her voice also manages to capture the arrogance of the NLDC and those involved with it.

I was so captured by this true story. I listened in the car on the way to and from work and had to frequently flip back to the radio as I was so incensed by the arrogance, indifference and downright cruelty shown to the people of the Fort Trumble neighbourhood. Susette, her friends, supporters and their story are such an inspiration, choosing to stand up for their beliefs in a long, protracted ten year battle.