Free read Detroit An American Autopsy ☆ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB

Free read Detroit An American Autopsy

In the heart of America a metropolis is uietly destroying itself Detroit once the richest city in the nation is now its poorest Once the vanguard of America’s machine age mass production automobiles and blue collar jobs Detroit is now America’s capital for unemployment illiteracy foreclosure and dropouts A city the size of San Francisco and Manhattan could neatly fit into Detroit’s vacant lots In another life Charlie LeDuff won the Pulitzer Prize reporting for The New York Times But all that is behind him now after returning to find his hometown in total freefall Detroit is where his mother’s flower shop was firebombed; where his sister lost herself to drugs; where his brother works in a f WHAT AN EYE OPENER THAT READS LIKE A HORROR STORYWhew So much corruption at all levels of government local State and even Wayne County? I am shocked Having grown up in a suburb of Detroit and hearing of some of the corruption and hard times via relatives who still reside there over the past years it never really struck me of how bad it iswas until I read this bookOf all the horribly sad stories of innocent children dying homes set on fire for fun police and fire departments understaffed and ill euipped because the politicians and local government ripped off the allotted improvement funds for their own personal gain is appalling but what is most atrocious of all are the piles of bodies that remain in the morgue because loved ones cannot afford to bury them I find myself wondering if this really is true How can this happen in America?I was a teen in 1967 and remember the night of the Detroit riots well as my boyfriend whom I married there was driving me home from a date when we were stopped by a police officer who asked why we were out after curfew and was concerned for our safety We saw no evidence of any trouble in the downriver area where we lived other than the feel of being in a ghost town that eveningThe book is powerfully written and keeps you wanting to read but I have to say I was never afraid growing up there except when a tornado literally came down our street and although we were by no means well off there was always food on the table we played outside until dark or after walked to school stopped at Carter's for a burger where yes they had a soda fountain or shopped in the stores on Fort Street It was great growing up thereMy father worked for Ford Motor Company for 49 years first working on Model T's; then the war came and he made airplanes and tanks My brother worked there 32 years before he retired to stay home and care for my father who passed away at age 94I really did not intend to get so wordy but my one last thought is how much fun we had back in 2006 when my son and I flew in to Detroit to meet up with my brother who still lives downriver to attend a couple Tiger baseball games against St Louis We never once felt threatened before during or after the games and had a great time with all the fans sitting around us regardless of race As an aside don't the Tiger's have one of the higher payrolls in baseball? Out of Bounds (Boundaries, uietly destroying itself Detroit once the richest city in the nation is now its poorest Once the vanguard of America’s machine age mass production automobiles and blue collar jobs Detroit is now America’s capital for Grass, Sky, Song unemployment illiteracy foreclosure and dropouts A city the size of San Francisco and Manhattan could neatly fit into Detroit’s vacant lots In another life Charlie LeDuff won the Pulitzer Prize reporting for The New York Times But all that is behind him now after returning to find his hometown in total freefall Detroit is where his mother’s flower shop was firebombed; where his sister lost herself to drugs; where his brother works in a f WHAT AN EYE OPENER THAT READS LIKE A HORROR STORYWhew So much corruption at all levels of government local State and even Wayne County? I am shocked Having grown Otter Chaos! (Otter Chaos up in a suburb of Detroit and hearing of some of the corruption and hard times via relatives who still reside there over the past years it never really struck me of how bad it iswas The Illusionists until I read this bookOf all the horribly sad stories of innocent children dying homes set on fire for fun police and fire departments O Último Testamento (Maggie Costello, understaffed and ill euipped because the politicians and local government ripped off the allotted improvement funds for their own personal gain is appalling but what is most atrocious of all are the piles of bodies that remain in the morgue because loved ones cannot afford to bury them I find myself wondering if this really is true How can this happen in America?I was a teen in 1967 and remember the night of the Detroit riots well as my boyfriend whom I married there was driving me home from a date when we were stopped by a police officer who asked why we were out after curfew and was concerned for our safety We saw no evidence of any trouble in the downriver area where we lived other than the feel of being in a ghost town that eveningThe book is powerfully written and keeps you wanting to read but I have to say I was never afraid growing One for My Baby up there except when a tornado literally came down our street and although we were by no means well off there was always food on the table we played outside Paragon Walk (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, until dark or after walked to school stopped at Carter's for a burger where yes they had a soda fountain or shopped in the stores on Fort Street It was great growing We up thereMy father worked for Ford Motor Company for 49 years first working on Model T's; then the war came and he made airplanes and tanks My brother worked there 32 years before he retired to stay home and care for my father who passed away at age 94I really did not intend to get so wordy but my one last thought is how much fun we had back in 2006 when my son and I flew in to Detroit to meet The Moon Platoon (Space Runners, up with my brother who still lives downriver to attend a couple Tiger baseball games against St Louis We never once felt threatened before during or after the games and had a great time with all the fans sitting around The Echo (The Anomaly Quartet, us regardless of race As an aside don't the Tiger's have one of the higher payrolls in baseball?

Summary ô PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ´ Charlie LeDuff

Detroit An American Autopsy

Actory cleaning Chinese manufactured screws so they can be repackaged as “Made in America” 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 neighborhood against systemic arson and bureaucratic corruption He investigates state senators and career police officials following the money to discover who benefits from Detroit’s decline He befriends union organizers homeless do gooders embattled businessmen and struggling homeowners all ordinary people holding the city together by sheer determination Americans have hoped Charlie is a friend but I say this regardless of that I enjoyed this book immensely I read it in bed at night and it made me want to stay up and read Now that may be because I know these stories and live in Detroit and know LeDuff but I think it's also because it's a good read It's not stifling academic lecturing It's down in the gutters A good look at how a prominent journalist does his work too My full review is coming out in an upcoming issue of the Columbia Journalism ReviewUPDATE Link to my review of the book in CJR The Black Painting uncover what destroyed his city He embeds with a local fire brigade struggling to defend its neighborhood against systemic arson and bureaucratic corruption He investigates state senators and career police officials following the money to discover who benefits from Detroit’s decline He befriends Fire and Desire union organizers homeless do gooders embattled businessmen and struggling homeowners all ordinary people holding the city together by sheer determination Americans have hoped Charlie is a friend but I say this regardless of that I enjoyed this book immensely I read it in bed at night and it made me want to stay The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox up and read Now that may be because I know these stories and live in Detroit and know LeDuff but I think it's also because it's a good read It's not stifling academic lecturing It's down in the gutters A good look at how a prominent journalist does his work too My full review is coming out in an The Illusionists upcoming issue of the Columbia Journalism ReviewUPDATE Link to my review of the book in CJR

Charlie LeDuff ´ 6 Read

For decades that Detroit was an exception an outlier What LeDuff reveals is that Detroit is once and for all America’s city It led us on the way up and now it is leading us on the way down Detroit can no longer be ignored because what happened there is happening out here Redemption is thin on the ground in this ghost of a city but Detroit An American Autopsy is no hopeless parable Instead LeDuff shares a deeply human drama of colossal greed ignorance endurance and courage Detroit is 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 and a black comic tale of the absurdity of American life in the twenty first centur This is a powerful book so real as to be too much so at points Author Charlie LeDuff is unflinching in his portrayal of two stories his own and that of his hometown Detroit to which he returns at mid career While LeDuff's life story is intriguing the tale of the Motor City is almost too fantastic to believe and it's in this gritty unflinching and ultimately loving relaying that the book achieves its gloryAs the author makes clear Detroit is a window into and reflection of our collective soul an often frightening look at what human nature creates when writ large on a local level with little to no accountability The SMH inducing stories are legion of course but to me even disappointing and mystifying is the reality that no one seems to be trying to fix it As LeDuff illustrates in a fascinating vignette in which he follows the money and paper trail with respect to fire department corruption the work of figuring out what's wrong is challenging but not impossible The if not totally dismaying part is that once exposed no one cares or does anything to correct the problems It's as if wrong has become the right in this upside down environment and is so 'normal' that it's not worthy of note Beyond the obvious uestion of how this could possibly come to be is the distressing one of why no one is trying to fix it as well as the consideration of whether this could this happen elsewhere because if so then all of us not just those who live in the 'D' now or like me used to need to take heedTechnically speaking the book is a rush as LeDuff is both a gritty and gifted writer and an insightful and righteous observer It's a vivid evocative page turner I laughed I cried I shook my head both in disgust and in surprise and experienced a full range of emotions as I traversed the sordid and sacred with the author Not that the book is perfect it's clear that there are a few editorial revisions and purposely omitted details that lessen its impact at times but it's exceedingly good in a bad way it's so transfixing that the reader will feel compelled to keep reading even though much of what is revealed is at best troubling and at worst inhumane And yet it's in this revelation of the pathos of the true humanity which at times is so lacking that one almost feels compelled to put the word in uotes that is its primary contributionIt's in the unflinching nature of this investigation of the collective id of a fallen and down but not completely out metropolis that hope is engendered As the author notes in covering the horrible and shameful he invariably comes across good people unsure of how to repair their environment And it's in service to this silent but still concerned minority that the author contributes meaningfully Unfortunately the vast majority are cautionary tales but they're important reminders that collectively and individually we get what we settle forAnd yet I will likely never forget the story of Johnny Redding's tragic life and especially end Nor will I ever uite get over the brazen immorality of secondary players beyond its former hip hop mayor whose malfeasance was chronicled nationally like former councilwoman and now convict Monica Conyers whose conduct was as embarrassing as it was criminal the former police brass who fudged crime statistics to their own benefit or the fire department leaders whose indifference to corruption leads repeatedly to death for their colleagues in the field etcSo whether you're a non fiction fan a student of current events andor politics a Detroit partisan or someone interested in potential glimpses of our collective future in keeping with the suggestion early in the book that Detroit led the country on the way up last century and is now leading again on the way back down in this one this is a worthy haunting read At times the tales are so outrageous as to seem like fiction and yet it's in dealing with the reality that they are distressingly accurate revelations of our human nature that makes them so important to appreciate In sum we look away at our peril but are greatly enriched if we do not Comfort of a Man us on the way Husband From 9 To 5 up and now it is leading The Bonny Bride us on the way down Detroit can no longer be ignored because what happened there is happening out here Redemption is thin on the ground in this ghost of a city but Detroit An American Autopsy is no hopeless parable Instead LeDuff shares a deeply human drama of colossal greed ignorance endurance and courage Detroit is an The Beleaguered Lord Bourne (Regency Trilogy, unbelievable story of a hard town in a rough time filled with some of the strangest and strongest people our country has to offer and a black comic tale of the absurdity of American life in the twenty first centur This is a powerful book so real as to be too much so at points Author Charlie LeDuff is Bending the Rules (Sisterhood Diaries, unflinching in his portrayal of two stories his own and that of his hometown Detroit to which he returns at mid career While LeDuff's life story is intriguing the tale of the Motor City is almost too fantastic to believe and it's in this gritty Hope Street unflinching and Burkes Christmas Surprise ultimately loving relaying that the book achieves its gloryAs the author makes clear Detroit is a window into and reflection of our collective soul an often frightening look at what human nature creates when writ large on a local level with little to no accountability The SMH inducing stories are legion of course but to me even disappointing and mystifying is the reality that no one seems to be trying to fix it As LeDuff illustrates in a fascinating vignette in which he follows the money and paper trail with respect to fire department corruption the work of figuring out what's wrong is challenging but not impossible The if not totally dismaying part is that once exposed no one cares or does anything to correct the problems It's as if wrong has become the right in this A Perfect Blood (The Hollows, upside down environment and is so 'normal' that it's not worthy of note Beyond the obvious Just Wars and Moral Victories uestion of how this could possibly come to be is the distressing one of why no one is trying to fix it as well as the consideration of whether this could this happen elsewhere because if so then all of Two Paradigms for Divine Healing us not just those who live in the 'D' now or like me Kenget e Milosaos used to need to take heedTechnically speaking the book is a rush as LeDuff is both a gritty and gifted writer and an insightful and righteous observer It's a vivid evocative page turner I laughed I cried I shook my head both in disgust and in surprise and experienced a full range of emotions as I traversed the sordid and sacred with the author Not that the book is perfect it's clear that there are a few editorial revisions and purposely omitted details that lessen its impact at times but it's exceedingly good in a bad way it's so transfixing that the reader will feel compelled to keep reading even though much of what is revealed is at best troubling and at worst inhumane And yet it's in this revelation of the pathos of the true humanity which at times is so lacking that one almost feels compelled to put the word in Early Chinese Religion, Part Two (220-589 Ad) uotes that is its primary contributionIt's in the At Europes Borders unflinching nature of this investigation of the collective id of a fallen and down but not completely out metropolis that hope is engendered As the author notes in covering the horrible and shameful he invariably comes across good people We are the Ship unsure of how to repair their environment And it's in service to this silent but still concerned minority that the author contributes meaningfully Unfortunately the vast majority are cautionary tales but they're important reminders that collectively and individually we get what we settle forAnd yet I will likely never forget the story of Johnny Redding's tragic life and especially end Nor will I ever Esoteric Buddhism at Dunhuang uite get over the brazen immorality of secondary players beyond its former hip hop mayor whose malfeasance was chronicled nationally like former councilwoman and now convict Monica Conyers whose conduct was as embarrassing as it was criminal the former police brass who fudged crime statistics to their own benefit or the fire department leaders whose indifference to corruption leads repeatedly to death for their colleagues in the field etcSo whether you're a non fiction fan a student of current events andor politics a Detroit partisan or someone interested in potential glimpses of our collective future in keeping with the suggestion early in the book that Detroit led the country on the way Studies on Steinschneider up last century and is now leading again on the way back down in this one this is a worthy haunting read At times the tales are so outrageous as to seem like fiction and yet it's in dealing with the reality that they are distressingly accurate revelations of our human nature that makes them so important to appreciate In sum we look away at our peril but are greatly enriched if we do not


10 thoughts on “Detroit An American Autopsy

  1. says:

    It was a cold morning; the fog had settled in low over the city and the mood on the street was grim as always I'd just finished reading the daily rag and was throwing it in the trash when there was a knock at my doorDetective there's athere's a BOOK here to see you It says its name is Detroit An American AutopsyChrist Send it in Dolly and keep your mouth shut about it Dolly's full plum colored lip uivered as she turned to usher in the tome her ample breast heaving within the stretched cotton dress So you've got the guts to show your face around here eh Detroit? Long time no seeEh Times is tough I got nowhere else to turn right now Detroit An American Autopsy hauled itself into the well worn leather chair in front of my desk and sighed its yellowed and tattered pages stinking of cigarette smoke motor oil and cheap booze You see I got this guy this Charlie LeDuff guy he's runnin around Detroit with a tommy gun only that tommy gun's just a pen and that pen's runnin' out of ink and we're all runnin' out of hope That's where you come inI really hope that was as tedious to read as it was tedious to write But there now you know what Detroit An American Autopsy is all about It's miserable It's depressing But guys that's DETROIT Not one person in that miserable shit hole of a town has something going for them But no fear you've got Charlie LeDuff journalist kamikaze cliche artist and city saver on handI'm assuming that the Sam Spade affectation is both an expression of vanity on LeDuff's part and probably a necessity of craft by making this story about him and his interactions with others it's not incumbent upon him to strive for a broad interpretation of what's happened to his hometown The narrower focus is safer for him I don't doubt that he's a savvy journalist and it's possible that he truly does interact with people in the way he does in this book but what he doesn't recognize is that every conversation really revolves around him and his manner of speaking not only renders him as a caricature but transforms those around him into mere set pieces in his ongoing family melodramaYet this book receives rave reviews and I'm mystified Perhaps people consider him to be enigmatic; I find him to be brash full of false bravado and generally repulsive as a character The misogyny is overwhelming women are described by their breasts and prophylactic tight dresses first character second if at all One baffling chapter has him fighting with his wife until she calls the cops He's then hauled off to jail comically invoking the 5th amendment outside of a courtroom Ostensibly this is to show just how deep he's in instead it just makes him even less likeable and makes me wonder if he was desperate to chew up pagesIt's probably impossible to get into a deeper discussion of racial issues in Detroit at the moment because it's too raw but I feel as though some of the raves for his work might be coming in because passages often though probably inadvertently contain a wink nod confirmation of what many people seem to love whispering about Detroit that for all that ails it what's really screwing it up is that THOSE PEOPLE ran it into the groundLeDuff will hammer home the idea that everyone screwed up over and over but it feels like each iteration of that is followed up with the wink nod 'but from where I stand' sort of deal LeDuff's not racist I don't think it was his intent to make it seem that he places the blame on one entity than another But everything about his tone strips away the humanity of his characters and makes people feel comfortable about believing all the stereotypes they'd long held about the cityThere are moments in this book when individuals shine in spite of the constraints he's placed upon them It's just a shame that he couldn't leave himself out of the story long enough to keep up that momentum for than a page or two


  2. says:

    It's sad how accurate this book is Charlie LeDuff isn't just from Detroit he's an insider His revelations about many of the stories I heard about on the local news are scary and completely believable My only criticism of the book if I had to give one is not LeDuff's failure to recognize the good parts about Detroit really that's not the focus of the book but rather the unwritten implication that the white suburbs stand uietly by not suffering from what's happened to Detroit In reality we're all suffering in the middle class suburbs I don't know anyone including me who isn't somehow tied into the auto industry Detroit's tentacles creep through every bit of Michigan and when the auto industry collapsed the suburbs slowly followed By comparison with Detroit my own living conditions are luxurious But only by comparison I make less money now than when I graduated from college and I still have a student loan or two lurking Our house is worth 150k less than when we bought it Every time we go to dinner at a favorite restaurant we find it closed The crime is growing 10 years ago ours was a safe neighborhood Now the bank down the street our bank has been held up three times in the last 3 years We have four foreclosed empty houses on our street and the banks don't maintain them In the summer the grass at the house across the street reaches the windows We take turns mowing the lawn ourselves Don't get me wrong it's paradise compared to the conditions in the wilds of Detroit It's the American dream for many living below 8 Mile by the way I grew up at 8 and Gratiot in East Detroitnow called East Pointe as if the name change is fooling anyone but ALL of Michigan is sufferingDetroit is slowly taking over The white suburbs aren't standing by watchingthe suburbs are going down with the ship On this trajectory pretty soon we'll all be FlintI hear the Recession is over I've heard Detroit is bouncing back I think that's media spin Honestly we were the first in the hole and we'll be the last out I don't see it getting better here yet just like I don't see Detroit bouncing back simply because they did some restoration for hosting the Superbowl in 2006 ie sweeping the crap under the rugor because a few streets around the casinos have been resurfaced I'm glad Charlie didn't try to imply that it is He's told it like it isThe book is very well written I expected nothing less of a Pulitzer prize winner Detroiters should be proud to call Charlie one of our own Though he is no longer with the Detroit News as he was during most of the book he is a prominent figure as an investigative reporter for Fox2 News I've given up TV for a year 9 months inreally looking forward to watching the news again and seeing Charlie keeping it real and sticking it to the dirty politicians in May


  3. says:

    WHAT AN EYE OPENER THAT READS LIKE A HORROR STORYWhew So much corruption at all levels of government local State and even Wayne County? I am shocked Having grown up in a suburb of Detroit and hearing of some of the corruption and hard times via relatives who still reside there over the past years it never really struck me of how bad it iswas until I read this bookOf all the horribly sad stories of innocent children dying homes set on fire for fun police and fire departments understaffed and ill euipped because the politicians and local government ripped off the allotted improvement funds for their own personal gain is appalling but what is most atrocious of all are the piles of bodies that remain in the morgue because loved ones cannot afford to bury them I find myself wondering if this really is true How can this happen in America?I was a teen in 1967 and remember the night of the Detroit riots well as my boyfriend whom I married there was driving me home from a date when we were stopped by a police officer who asked why we were out after curfew and was concerned for our safety We saw no evidence of any trouble in the downriver area where we lived other than the feel of being in a ghost town that eveningThe book is powerfully written and keeps you wanting to read but I have to say I was never afraid growing up there except when a tornado literally came down our street and although we were by no means well off there was always food on the table we played outside until dark or after walked to school stopped at Carter's for a burger where yes they had a soda fountain or shopped in the stores on Fort Street It was great growing up thereMy father worked for Ford Motor Company for 49 years first working on Model T's; then the war came and he made airplanes and tanks My brother worked there 32 years before he retired to stay home and care for my father who passed away at age 94I really did not intend to get so wordy but my one last thought is how much fun we had back in 2006 when my son and I flew in to Detroit to meet up with my brother who still lives downriver to attend a couple Tiger baseball games against St Louis We never once felt threatened before during or after the games and had a great time with all the fans sitting around us regardless of race As an aside don't the Tiger's have one of the higher payrolls in baseball?


  4. says:

    The city what's left of it burns night after night Nature in the form of pheasants hawks foxes coyotes and wild dogs had stepped in to fill the vacuum reclaiming a little of the landscape each daylike living in Pompeii except the people weren't covered in ash We were aliveIn Detroit An American Autopsy Charlie LeDuff presents a street level view of Detroit The book is less a history of the causes of Detroit's decline than it is an anecdotal look at what the decline means for those still living in the city It is as LeDuff describes it a near dystopian place Perhaps as much as any city in the States Detroit is a victim of de industrialization The town was once a place of economic opportunity for both white and black families relocating from other parts of the country to work in its factories Once these well paying blue collar jobs left there was little to fill the void During the boom times the city's black residents could find work but blacks were consigned to live in cramped and rat infested neighborhoods Detroit experienced severe race violence in 1967 Following this whites would begin their rapid exodus to the suburbs leaving behind their homes and taking their factories and their jobs and their tax dollars with them to places like Warren As the tax base deteriorated so too did the schools police and fire departments With over 62000 vacant homes arson is a form of entertainment or insurance scam for absentee owners Attempts to demolish abandoned properties and eliminate blight become mired in city politics and corruption LeDuff finds a few glimmers of hope He finds police and firemen still striving struggling with worn out or non existent euipment Parents are fighting to keep their children safe in a city plagued by random violence One can only hope for a way out and a brighter future for Detroit and its people


  5. says:

    I am a native Detroiter who is still loyal to the city hoping it will again be a place where families can live a decent life in a cultural metropolitan city I picked up this book hoping for some answers on what happened to Detroit After all an autopsy promises some answers a beginning to unraveling a mystery of what happenedYou won't find any of that in this book The author lays down some anecdotal stories which while interesting weren't very fulfilling At this point we all know Detroit is rife with corruption that its politicians have been stealing from the city's citizens that Detroit's police and fire departments are struggling I wanted to learn how it got that way where it started who started this downward spiral Most of all I wanted to see some hope that Detroit could come back at least to the place it was when I was growing up A place you would shop and attend plays and venture out to eat at new restaurants with other families doing the same thingYou'll finish this book thinking Detroit may as well give up that someone should just come in and raze everything There's no discourse on Detroit's history the great neighborhoods the spirit of the people of Detroit the things that make the city have value and a reason for being Why are so many people fond of Detroit if this is all there is? If you're from Detroit you know these things exist; if you're not this book will just support the pervasive thinking that Detroit is nothing than a bombed out war zoneSo keep your money don't buy this book The author while his heart is certainly in the right place went for a superficial collection of sensational stories tales to tell your friends at the bar and threw in some personal asides about his family's history what these had to do with Detroit I couldn't figure out This book was somewhat entertaining but not the story it's title implies


  6. says:

    Charlie is a friend but I say this regardless of that I enjoyed this book immensely I read it in bed at night and it made me want to stay up and read Now that may be because I know these stories and live in Detroit and know LeDuff but I think it's also because it's a good read It's not stifling academic lecturing It's down in the gutters A good look at how a prominent journalist does his work too My full review is coming out in an upcoming issue of the Columbia Journalism ReviewUPDATE Link to my review of the book in CJR


  7. says:

    This is a well written and well researched book that is nevertheless depressing as hellIt’s about Detroit and what a shithole it is written by a native Detroiter who came home after years to find it worse than when he leftJournalist Charlie LeDuff’s 2013 novel is about going back to Detroit and describing how this failing American metropolis could be a microcosm of what is wrong with our country as well as the world economy Painting with a sympathetic but damning brush LeDuff shows off his city in brutal reality – rampant corruption staggering debt and infrastructure that is implodingLeDuff makes brief mention of the good of the city and spends almost all of his time describing all that is bad To his credit and making this book much the better LeDuff is not just an aloof reporter chronicling a tough city going through a tough time decades but his camera is aimed at the portrait – his is an eye that focuses on the individuals and the families that make Detroit what it was it is and maybe what it can beWhat makes this work is that LeDuff is from Detroit and he is talking about his city In many asides and sub plots we learn about Charlie and his family and their proximity to and resonance with Detroit adds another element to this tragedy and makes it a far better and credible book than it would be otherwiseRaceThe most pervasive and incendiary aspect of this book and it seems of Detroit itself is the issue of race and nowhere is this evident than in Le Duff himself In describing his family we learn that his own family had been a colorful mix of black and white and Native American – finally coalescing into an ancestor taking the ethnic nickname of “Frenchie” and thus getting a coveted “W” on his official papers instead of the earlier labels “N” for negro and “M” for mulattoLe Duff’s exhaustive and illustrative discussion of this element made me think of Nazi Germany and that regime’s fastidious distinctions about ethnicity and racial purity What the hell difference does it make? Especially among Americans – are we not the great melting pot? Are not we supposed to be the people that moved beyond race and the color of skin? According to LeDuff in Detroit at least race is still what it’s all aboutJournalism with a heart and soul LeDuff has given us a glimpse into this once great city


  8. says:

    Intrigued by the beginning but thinking it could really go either way with this one by the time I reach the end the stories are always interesting but the journalistic machismo is getting distracting


  9. says:

    This is a powerful book so real as to be too much so at points Author Charlie LeDuff is unflinching in his portrayal of two stories his own and that of his hometown Detroit to which he returns at mid career While LeDuff's life story is intriguing the tale of the Motor City is almost too fantastic to believe and it's in this gritty unflinching and ultimately loving relaying that the book achieves its gloryAs the author makes clear Detroit is a window into and reflection of our collective soul an often frightening look at what human nature creates when writ large on a local level with little to no accountability The SMH inducing stories are legion of course but to me even disappointing and mystifying is the reality that no one seems to be trying to fix it As LeDuff illustrates in a fascinating vignette in which he follows the money and paper trail with respect to fire department corruption the work of figuring out what's wrong is challenging but not impossible The if not totally dismaying part is that once exposed no one cares or does anything to correct the problems It's as if wrong has become the right in this upside down environment and is so 'normal' that it's not worthy of note Beyond the obvious uestion of how this could possibly come to be is the distressing one of why no one is trying to fix it as well as the consideration of whether this could this happen elsewhere because if so then all of us not just those who live in the 'D' now or like me used to need to take heedTechnically speaking the book is a rush as LeDuff is both a gritty and gifted writer and an insightful and righteous observer It's a vivid evocative page turner I laughed I cried I shook my head both in disgust and in surprise and experienced a full range of emotions as I traversed the sordid and sacred with the author Not that the book is perfect it's clear that there are a few editorial revisions and purposely omitted details that lessen its impact at times but it's exceedingly good in a bad way it's so transfixing that the reader will feel compelled to keep reading even though much of what is revealed is at best troubling and at worst inhumane And yet it's in this revelation of the pathos of the true humanity which at times is so lacking that one almost feels compelled to put the word in uotes that is its primary contributionIt's in the unflinching nature of this investigation of the collective id of a fallen and down but not completely out metropolis that hope is engendered As the author notes in covering the horrible and shameful he invariably comes across good people unsure of how to repair their environment And it's in service to this silent but still concerned minority that the author contributes meaningfully Unfortunately the vast majority are cautionary tales but they're important reminders that collectively and individually we get what we settle forAnd yet I will likely never forget the story of Johnny Redding's tragic life and especially end Nor will I ever uite get over the brazen immorality of secondary players beyond its former hip hop mayor whose malfeasance was chronicled nationally like former councilwoman and now convict Monica Conyers whose conduct was as embarrassing as it was criminal the former police brass who fudged crime statistics to their own benefit or the fire department leaders whose indifference to corruption leads repeatedly to death for their colleagues in the field etcSo whether you're a non fiction fan a student of current events andor politics a Detroit partisan or someone interested in potential glimpses of our collective future in keeping with the suggestion early in the book that Detroit led the country on the way up last century and is now leading again on the way back down in this one this is a worthy haunting read At times the tales are so outrageous as to seem like fiction and yet it's in dealing with the reality that they are distressingly accurate revelations of our human nature that makes them so important to appreciate In sum we look away at our peril but are greatly enriched if we do not


  10. says:

    This was a great book that I couldn't put down as much as you can say a book about a destroyed city is great What makes it great is the journalist author Charlie LeDuff who is from Detroit and has lost several family members to terrible situations there This makes it different from a detached paid to experience book that most journalists will write forgotten the minute they are published This is partly about the city of Detroit and partly about Charlie's own life and background The mix is great his writing is great kind of a combination of old newspaperman and gumshoe detective in tone with short clipped sentences and metaphors that actually work In anyone else's hands I'd probably be rolling my eyes but not here On Michigan's place in thingsMichigan may geographically be one of America's most northern states but spiritually it is one of its most southernOn dealing with complaints that he never writes about the artsBut the arts and good people etc are not supposed to be news These things are supposed to be normal And when normal things become the news the abnormal becomes the norm What galleries and museums have to do with a dead man is beyond me Writing about shit like that in the city we were living in seemed eual to writing about the surf conditions while reporting in the Gaza StripOn a dead body just being left abandonedThe way that members of a society die is a reflection of the way society lives So when you walk away from a dead human being what does that tell you about the state of things? Dr Carl Schmidt a medical examiner he interviewed for Frozen in Indifference Life goes on around body found in vacant warehouse an article he wrote for the Detroit News in 2009Here are a few examples of that writing styleHe was smoking like wet woolThis was like living in Pompeii except the people weren't covered in ash We were aliveI looked up over the grave and surveyed the heaving sobs of my nieces and the strained faces of my brothers Somehow the city of promise had become a scrap yard of dreamsI stood under the granite cornices of the fire headuarters where a covey of pigeons was huddled against the rain I roasted up a Winston and thought about things