Detroit: An American Autopsy
In the heart of America, a metropolis is quietly 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 ...more
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I have a personal bias towards any stories about Detroit. I was raised in what was once an industrial town in Michigan and grew up among rust. My parents, who worked in medicine, were fortunate enough to still have jobs, as people don't stop dying when they get poorer.
This book hit me. It is not from the journalism as prose-poetry style, although that helps. It is no ...more
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 quietly by, not suffering from what's happened to Detroit. In re ...more
"Detective, there's a...there's a BOOK here to see you. It says its name is Detroit: An American Autopsy."
"Christ. Send it in, Dolly, and keep your mouth shut about it." Dolly's full, plum-colored lip quivered as she turned to usher in the tome, her ample breast heaving within the ...more
You 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 Detr ...more
Whew! 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 is/was until I read this book.
Of all the horribly sad stories of innocent children dying, homes set on fire for fun, police and fire departments understaff...more
As the author makes clear, Detroit is a window into and reflection of our coll ...more
It's part Guy Noir (“The strain was showing on Monica Conyers like a cheap cocktail dress”), part anecdotes about how commonplace corruption and violence is in Detroit, part De ...more
Detroit: An American Autopsy is extremely thought provoking, although the title was misleading. I thought an autopsy would be a systematic, detailed examination of what went wrong and where the city is now. Instead, it is a series of... well...anecdote ...more
LeDuff’s on-camera work is polarizing – he’s eccentric, bombastic, assured, confrontational, and sarcastic. He’s a Detroit newsman through and through, but an on-air pers ...more
This is not one of those "please say nice things about Detroit" screeds. LeDuff focuses on horror, mayhem, dysfunction, corruption, and despair. Victories are rare and small, scored in the face of general decline.
Which is not to say _Detroit: An American Autopsy_ is not a pleasure to read. The prose is elegant, stripped down in a hurry, and focused on economically outlining key details. Characters appear vividly, either as one-ti ...more
People should read this and know that this is the paradigm of what happens when Progressive politics and years of race-baiting victimization crash headlong into government entitlements married to a 21st century that has steamrolled manufacturing.
The government isn't corrupt b/c that implies there's something clean and pure that can be found if the rust is chipped away. In f ...more
Both of my parents were born in Detroit. They grew up in Hazel Park and moved "all the way" over to Warren in 1965 after their house was built. I grew up with stories of Kern & Company where my grandmother worked in the layaway department, my mother's tales of taking the streetcar to attend Tigers games at Briggs Stadium. Where m ...more
I hate reading reviews of books before I read the book but it can be a necessary evil. In the reviews for this book I gleaned some of the criticism of LeDuff's writing and in the end a lot of turned out to be accurate. But, what some saw as negative aspects of his writing I found to be endearing.
Mind you that I heard the book through the filter of someone else's reading. The reader gave LeDuff a gruff, wizened tone that at ti ...more
[[[Aside: I grew up in Toledo, Ohio, about 50 miles south of Detroit. I was always vaguely terrified of the city, probably because several people told me that the city tends to explode into race riots from time to time. My wife and I spent a really fun (and race riot-free) weekend there two years ago doing some typical touristy things (visiting Motown, DIA, a jazz club, etc.), and I highly recommend visit ...more
Leduff trades in this most miserable of milieus with a cocky, street-wise se ...more
And the section on Kwame Kilpatrick's sexts had me cackling. Oh, MAN.
He covered the war in Iraq, crossed the desert with a group of migrant Mexicans and worked inside a North Carolina slaughterhouse as part of The Times series “How Race Is Lived in America,” which was awarded the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for National Reportin ...more