Dan Trudeau's Reviews > Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis

Detroit City Is the Place to Be by Mark Binelli
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's review
Dec 30, 12

bookshelves: detroit
Read from December 28 to 30, 2012

I've spent a good deal of time reading books about Detroit and after disappointments like Detroit (A Biography), this was a breath of fresh air. It's the book I'd guide people who are interested in the city to read. Other books rely on historical documents, interviews with local figures, and drive-through visits. Binelli is from the area originally and lived in the city proper, doing ride-alongs with Charles Pugh on the bus, spending a couple days with the skeletal Highland Park Fire Department, and talking to the families involved in a brutal murder.

The result goes beyond those stories you get in The New York Times, where the writer is so in love with "Detroit as a symbol of our failings." You get a real sense of what the city is up against and why its residents continue to hope for a better future. It's that last part that interests me the most. Given what's happened in the city and how our troubles have been publicized, you'd think we walk around ashamed of where we come from. We don't. We wear shirts with "Detroit" in bold letters and feel a strange sense of pride that this is the city we're connected to (even from as far away as St. Clair). This is the first book I've read that communicates this and gives the outsider a sense of why.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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John Good review. Also I have to agree about Detroit: A Biography. Very earnest, very dull.

message 2: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Trudeau Thank you.

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