Detroit

Detroit

An American Autopsy

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
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Penguin Putnam
A New York Times Bestseller

?A book full of both literary grace and hard-won world-weariness... Iggy Pop meets Jim Carroll and Charles Bukowski” ?Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW


Back in his broken hometown, Pulitzer Prize?winning journalist Charlie LeDuff searches through the ruins for clues to its fate, his family’s, and his own. Detroit is where his mother’s flower shop was firebombed in the pre-Halloween orgy of arson known as Devil’s Night; where his sister lost herself to the west side streets; where his brother, who once sold subprime mortgages with skill and silk, now works in a factory cleaning Chinese-manufactured screws so they can be repackaged as ?May Be Made in United States.”

Having led us on the way up, Detroit now seems to be leading us on the way down. Once the richest city in America, Detroit is now the nation’s poorest. Once the vanguard of America’s machine age?mass production, blue-collar jobs, and automobiles?Detroit is now America’s capital for unemployment, illiteracy, dropouts, and foreclosures. It is an eerie and angry place of deserted factories and abandoned homes and forgotten people. Trees and switchgrass and wild animals have come back to reclaim their right¬ful places. Coyotes are here. The pigeons have left. A city the size of San Francisco and Manhattan could neatly fit into Detroit’s vacant lots. After revealing that the city’s murder rate is higher than the official police number?making it the highest in the country?a weary old detective tells LeDuff, ?In this city two plus two equals three.”

With the steel-eyed reportage that has become his trademark and the righteous indignation only a native son possesses, LeDuff sets out to uncover what destroyed his city. He embeds with a local fire brigade struggling to defend its city against systemic arson and bureaucratic corruption. He investigates politicians of all stripes, from the smooth-talking mayor to career police officials to ministers of the backstreets, following the paperwork to discover who benefits from Detroit’s decline. He beats on the doors of union bosses and homeless squatters, powerful businessmen and struggling homeowners, and the ordinary people holding the city together by sheer determination.

If Detroit is America’s vanguard in good times and bad, then here is the only place to turn for guid¬ance in our troubled era. While redemption is thin on the ground in this ghost of a city, Detroit: An American Autopsy is no hopeless parable. LeDuff shares an unbelievable story of a hard town in a rough time filled with some of the strangest and strongest people our country has to offer. Detroit is a dark comedy of the absurdity of American life in the twenty-first century, a deeply human drama of colossal greed and endurance, ignorance and courage.


Baker & Taylor
An exposâe of bureaucratic corruption and systemic arson in Detroit traces the author's work with a local fire brigade and his investigations into the daily lives of politicians, police officials, and others who are working to save the troubled city.

Baker
& Taylor

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Work and Other Sins presents an exposé of bureaucratic corruption and systemic arson in his home city of Detroit, tracing his work with a local fire brigade and his investigations into the daily lives of politicians, police officials, businesspeople and homeowners who are working to save the troubled city.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2013
ISBN: 9781594205347
1594205345
Branch Call Number: 977.43 LED
Characteristics: xvi, 286 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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Eosos
Mar 10, 2017

An autopsy of a city this is not, the story of a man reconnecting with his family and his roots in the city, this it is. And in that respect, this is actually a good book, he writes engagingly and tells good stories, personal stories of his family and those he meets as a journalist. Not what I was aiming to read nor a type of book I would have been interested in should it have been obvious what its real content.

s
singidunum_25
Feb 22, 2016

Just check it out....will open your eyes........

t
trotter73
Feb 17, 2016

I did find it to be an interesting read even though I did find the author to have a bit of an inflated ego.

eevioo Jun 12, 2015

Fascinating read

r
Renofire
Apr 19, 2015

An excellent book that opens your eyes to things that are not in the main stream media. Very well written, couldn't put it down.

z
zardoz23
Mar 06, 2015

An absolutely devastating expose of the corruption, greed, crime and sometimes hopelessness of life in modern Detroit. At times almost too depressing to read and believe that things are that bad but the author gives some humourous stories and some examples of hope. It is capitalism at its worst and makes me glad I live here. It should be read as a warning to what can happen to a city.

Rcabral Oct 14, 2014

A glimpse into the reality that is the decay of the once great Motor City. Well written, engaging and most of all heart wrenching.

w
wrath231
Mar 04, 2014

A really enjoyable read..Charlie's narrative keeps to glued to the pages. The only downside was the small bit where he delves into his family history which I found somewhat jarring.

JimV Sep 22, 2013

The cover tells you everything you need to know about this book - the author posing as "working class hero." An excellent read if you're interested in the ego and pretensions of Charlie LeDuff. If you want an analysis of Detroit's slide into ruin, not so much.

m
myconatiSF
Sep 16, 2013

Couldn't put book down, a definite page turner. Very sad...

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