Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker 's Reviews > Detroit: A Biography

Detroit by Scott Martelle
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Jan 14, 12

Read from December 19 to 23, 2011

I was born in Detroit. Lived outside of Detroit for my first 19 years of life and then got the heck out of there. It seems that many people had the same idea I did for the same sort of reasons. Detroit, was or is messed up. However, I still have this weird affection for the city. I want it to succeed, thrive and basically become the great city that it deserves to be. I'm just not willing to stay around and wait for that to happen.

Martelle wrote a great book about a damaged city. I didn't think this book would be interesting. But it was. I didn't think I'd care, but I did. I didn't think I could learn more about Detroit, but I was surprised.

The great part about this book is how the book is written. You can clearly see that Martelle is a writer and not just someone listing historical information. Biographies are hard for me since I have a tendency to flip through the book like an encyclopedia. Find what interests me, and then flip to that section. However, with Martelle's book, I found myself reading page by page. I even went back and reread an interesting section twice. Go figure!

Even if you never been to Detroit, never wanted to go to Detroit, or even if the thought of visiting Detroit scares the crap out of you, give this book a chance. You might be surprised.
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Reading Progress

12/19/2011
10.0% "So good. So interesting. I have a lot of history in Detroit, born in Detroit, really interesting stuff"
12/20/2011
30.0% "So absolutely fascinating."
12/22/2011
77.0% "ahhh.. the mistakes we make..ok, I didn't make them.. but "we" meaning we the people of Michigan (ok so I'm not in Michigan anymore but you get what I'm saying...oh nevermind)."

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message 1: by Dr. Detroit (new) - added it

Dr. Detroit I grew up in Detroit in the 60’s and 70’s, a time when we figured this place couldn’t possibly get any worse. So much for prescience…

Nothing much has changed around here, at least not for the better. If anything, it's gotten worse, from a run-out-of-town-on-a-rail administration who viewed the city and its coffers as their own personal chew toys to a showdown between Uncle Sam and the automotive industry which played out like nothing so much as a battle between the forces of Satan and an army of God, turning the floors of both the House AND the Senate into “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”-style point-and-screech mob scenes.

And let’s face it: the current administration is no better, trying to pick up the pieces left by former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick but sticking its hands in its pockets every day and pulling out nothing but lint while the city teeters on the brink of complete and utter anarchy, its collective grey matter going up in flame as 50,000 stray dogs run wild over a landscape straight out of “The Road Warrior,” cops, firefighters AND animal control hopelessly outmanned er, outdogged. To top it off, as if living here isn’t punishment enough, over the last ten to twenty years or so we Detroiters have had to adjust to the realization that the three things we do best – build cars, kill each other, and rupture the world’s eardrums with a crude yet swinging prototype of the rawk that pulsates with the belch of the city’s smokestacks and the beat of its machinery – have been co-opted, respectively, by the Japanese, the residents of either St. Louis, Missouri, Washington, D.C., or Jamaica, and - with all apologies to John Sinclair - a guitar army of Scandinavians who refuse to accept that Johnny Thunders, Fred “Sonic” Smith, and Mick Ronson have all checked into the Wooden Waldorf.

But we live to fight another day. Detroit Rock City. Feh…


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