An explosive exposé of America’s lost prosperity—from Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charlie LeDuff Back in his broken hometown, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie LeDuff searches the ruins of Detroit for clues to his family’s troubled past. 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. 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 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. Detroit: An American Autopsy 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.
The Country's Collapsing . . . and the Ratings Are Great
Author: Charlie LeDuff
Category: Political Science
A daring, firsthand, and utterly-unscripted account of crisis in America, from Ferguson to Flint to Cliven Bundy's ranch to Donald Trump's unstoppable campaign for President--at every turn, Pulitzer-prize winner and bestselling author of Detroit: An American Autopsy, Charlie LeDuff was there In the Fall of 2013, long before any sane person had seriously considered the possibility of a Trump presidency, Charlie LeDuff sat in the office of then-Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, and made a simple but prophetic claim: The whole country is bankrupt and on high boil. It’s a shitshow out there. No one in the bubbles of Washington, DC., New York, or Los Angles was talking about it--least of all the media. LeDuff wanted to go to the heart of the country to report what was really going on. Ailes baulked. Could the hard-living and straight-shooting LeDuff be controlled? But, then, perhaps on a whim, he agreed. And so LeDuff set out to record a TV series called, "The Americans," and, along the way, ended up bearing witness to the ever-quickening unraveling of The American Dream. For three years, LeDuff travelled the width and breadth of the country with his team of production irregulars, ending up on the Mexican border crossing the Rio Grande on a yellow rubber kayak alongside undocumented immigrants; in the middle of Ferguson as the city burned; and watching the children of Flint get sick from undrinkable water. Racial, political, social, and economic tensions were escalating by the day. The inexorable effects of technological change and globalization were being felt more and more acutely, at the same time as wages stagnated and the price of housing, education, and healthcare went through the roof. The American people felt defeated and abandoned by their politicians, and those politicians seemed incapable of rising to the occasion. The old way of life was slipping away, replaced only by social media, part-time work, and opioid addiction. Sh*tshow! is that true, tragic, and distinctively American story, told from the parts of the country hurting the most. A soul-baring, irreverent, and iconoclastic writer, LeDuff speaks the language of everyday Americans, and is unafraid of getting his hands dirty. He scrambles the tired-old political, social, and racial categories, taking no sides--or prisoners. Old-school, gonzo-style reporting, this is both a necessary confrontation with the darkest parts of the American psyche and a desperately-needed reminder of the country's best instincts.
A Rolling Stone reporter and Detroit native traces the city's demise and recovery efforts, evaluating the ambitious plans of urban developers, speculators, politicians, agriculturalists and utopian environmentalists to transform Detroit into a viable, unsegregated and economically diverse post-industrial region. 50,000 first printing.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter traces his cross-country investigation of the character and quality of the American man, a journey during which he participated in a Bacchanalian Burning Man festival, led a cavalry charge down the Little Bighorn River, infiltrated a fighting biker gang, and more. Reprint.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Detroit: An American Autopsy "Except for a few drinks, nothing is free in Charlie LeDuff's blunt and touching Work and Other Sins. The laughter and wisdom are hard won, the lessons are often painful... the sad tales and wit from the bar rail are endless and timeless." --The New York Times Book Review Charlie LeDuff is that rare breed of news reporter—one who can cover hard-to-get-at stories in a unique and deeply personal style. In Work and Other Sins, he gives his incomparable take on New York City and its denizens—the bars, the workingmen, the gamblers, the eccentrics, the lonesome, and the wise. Whether writing about a racetrack gambler, a firefighter with a broken heart, or a pair of bickering brothers and their Coney Island bar, LeDuff takes the reader into the lives of his subjects to explore their fears, faults, and fantasies as well as their own small niches of the globe. The result is an at turns riotous, dirt-under-the-nails, contemplative, salty, joyous, whiskey-tinged, and utterly unique vision of life in the Big Apple.
The Design, Art, and Resurgence of an American City
Author: Michel Arnaud
Detroit: The Dream Is Now is a visual essay on the rebuilding and resurgence of the city of Detroit by photographer Michel Arnaud, co-author of Design Brooklyn. In recent years, much of the focus on Detroit has been on the negative stories and images of shuttered, empty buildings—the emblems of Detroit’s financial and physical decline. In contrast, Arnaud aims his lens at the emergent creative enterprises and new developments taking hold in the still-vibrant city. The book explores Detroit’s rich industrial and artistic past while giving voice to the dynamic communities that will make up its future. The first section provides a visual tour of the city’s architecture and neighborhoods, while the remaining chapters focus on the developing design, art, and food scenes through interviews and portraits of the city’s entrepreneurs, artists, and makers. Detroit is the story of an American city in flux, documented in Arnaud’s thought-provoking photographs.
Discover the Motor City before the motor: a muddy port town full of grog shops, horse races, haphazard cemeteries and enterprising bootstrappers from all over the world. Meet the argumentative French fugitive who founded the city, the tobacco magnate who haunts his shuttered factory, the gambler prankster millionaire who built a monument to himself, the governor who brought his scholarly library with him on canoe expeditions and the historians who helped create the story of Detroit as we know it: one of the oldest, rowdiest and most enigmatic cities in the Midwest.
A young college grad buys a house in Detroit for $500 and attempts to restore it—and his new neighborhood—to its original glory in this “deeply felt, sharply observed personal quest to create meaning and community out of the fallen…A standout” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). Drew Philp, an idealistic college student from a working-class Michigan family, decides to live where he can make a difference. He sets his sights on Detroit, the failed metropolis of abandoned buildings, widespread poverty, and rampant crime. Arriving with no job, no friends, and no money, Philp buys a ramshackle house for five hundred dollars in the east side neighborhood known as Poletown. The roomy Queen Anne he now owns is little more than a clapboard shell on a crumbling brick foundation, missing windows, heat, water, electricity, and a functional roof. A $500 House in Detroit is Philp’s raw and earnest account of rebuilding everything but the frame of his house, nail by nail and room by room. “Philp is a great storyteller…[and his] engrossing” (Booklist) tale is also of a young man finding his footing in the city, the country, and his own generation. We witness his concept of Detroit shift, expand, and evolve as his plan to save the city gives way to a life forged from political meaning, personal connection, and collective purpose. As he assimilates into the community of Detroiters around him, Philp guides readers through the city’s vibrant history and engages in urgent conversations about gentrification, racial tensions, and class warfare. Part social history, part brash generational statement, part comeback story, A $500 House in Detroit “shines [in its depiction of] the ‘radical neighborliness’ of ordinary people in desperate circumstances” (Publishers Weekly). This is an unforgettable, intimate account of the tentative revival of an American city and a glimpse at a new way forward for generations to come.
What happens when an iconic American city goes broke? At exactly 4:06 p.m. on July 18, 2013, the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy. It was the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history—the Motor City had finally hit rock bottom. But what led to that fateful day, and how did the city survive the perilous months that followed? In Detroit Resurrected, Nathan Bomey delivers the inside story of the fight to save Detroit against impossible odds. Bomey, who covered the bankruptcy for the Detroit Free Press, provides a gripping account of the tremendous clash between lawyers, judges, bankers, union leaders, politicians, philanthropists, and the people of Detroit themselves. The battle to rescue this iconic city pulled together those who believed in its future—despite their differences. Help came in the form of Republican governor Rick Snyder, a technocrat who famously called himself “one tough nerd”; emergency manager Kevyn Orr, a sharp-shooting lawyer and “yellow-dog Democrat”; and judges Steven Rhodes and Gerald Rosen, the key architects of the grand bargain that would give the city a second chance at life. Detroit had a long way to go. Facing a legacy of broken promises, the city had to seek unprecedented sacrifices from retirees and union leaders, who fought for their pensions and benefits. It had to confront the consequences of years of municipal corruption while warding off Wall Street bond insurers who demanded their money back. And it had to consider liquidating the Detroit Institute of Arts, whose world-class collection became an object of desire for the city’s numerous creditors. In a tight, suspenseful narrative, Detroit Resurrected reveals the tricky path to rescuing the city from $18 billion in debt and giving new hope to its citizens. Based on hundreds of exclusive interviews, insider sources, and thousands of records, Detroit Resurrected gives a sweeping account of financial ruin, backroom intrigue, and political rebirth in the struggle to reinvent one of America’s iconic cities.
“A fascinating political, racial, economic, and cultural tapestry” (Detroit Free Press), a tour de force from David Maraniss about the quintessential American city at the top of its game: Detroit in 1963. Detroit in 1963 is on top of the world. The city’s leaders are among the most visionary in America: Grandson of the first Ford; Henry Ford II; Motown’s founder Berry Gordy; the Reverend C.L. Franklin and his daughter, the incredible Aretha; Governor George Romney, Mormon and Civil Rights advocate; car salesman Lee Iacocca; Police Commissioner George Edwards; Martin Luther King. The time was full of promise. The auto industry was selling more cars than ever before. Yet the shadows of collapse were evident even then. “Elegiac and richly detailed” (The New York Times), in Once in a Great City David Maraniss shows that before the devastating riot, before the decades of civic corruption and neglect, and white flight; before people trotted out the grab bag of rust belt infirmities and competition from abroad to explain Detroit’s collapse, one could see the signs of a city’s ruin. Detroit at its peak was threatened by its own design. It was being abandoned by the new world economy and by the transfer of American prosperity to the information and service industries. In 1963, as Maraniss captures it with power and affection, Detroit summed up America’s path to prosperity and jazz that was already past history. “Maraniss has written a book about the fall of Detroit, and done it, ingeniously, by writing about Detroit at its height….An encyclopedic account of Detroit in the early sixties, a kind of hymn to what really was a great city” (The New Yorker).
A frighteningly prescient novel of today’s America—one man’s story of a racially charged real estate experiment in Detroit, Michigan. “You get in the habit of living a certain kind of life, you keep going in a certain direction, but most of the pressure on you is just momentum. As soon as you stop the momentum goes away. It’s easier than people think to walk out on things, I mean things like cities, leases, relationships and jobs.” Greg Marnier, Marny to his friends, leaves a job he doesn’t much like and moves to Detroit, Michigan in 2009, where an old friend has a big idea about real estate and the revitalization of a once great American city. Once there, he gets involved in a fist-fight between two of his friends, a racially charged trial, an act of vigilante justice, a love affair with a local high school teacher, and a game of three-on-three basketball with the President—not to mention the money-soaked real estate project itself, cut out of 600 acres of emaciated Detroit. Marny’s billionaire buddy from Yale, Robert James, calls his project “the Groupon model for gentrification,” others call it “New Jamestown,” and Marny calls it home— until Robert James asks him to leave. This is the story of what went wrong. You Don’t Have to Live Like This is the breakout novel from the “fabulously real” (Guardian) voice of the only American included in Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. Using the framework of our present reality, Benjamin Markovits blurs the line between the fictional and the fact-based, and captures an invisible current threaded throughout American politics, economics, and society that is waiting to explode.
An unflinching, honest memoir of growing up white and working class in a city that came to exemplify black urban decay describes the racism and prejudice he faced as one of the few white students at his Catholic high school, the impact of affirmative action and busing on Detroit's old ethnic neighborhoods, and other grim realities of life in urban America. Reprint. 17,500 first printing.
For most of the twentieth century, Detroit was a symbol of American industrial might, a place of entrepreneurial and technical ingenuity where the latest consumer inventions were made available to everyone through the genius of mass production. Today, Detroit is better known for its dwindling population, moribund automobile industry, and alarmingly high murder rate. In Driving Detroit, author George Galster, a fifth-generation Detroiter and internationally known urbanist, sets out to understand how the city has come to represent both the best and worst of what cities can be, all within the span of a half century. Galster invites the reader to travel with him along the streets and into the soul of this place to grasp fully what drives the Motor City. With a scholar's rigor and a local's perspective, Galster uncovers why metropolitan Detroit's cultural, commercial, and built landscape has been so radically transformed. He shows how geography, local government structure, and social forces created a housing development system that produced sprawl at the fringe and abandonment at the core. Galster argues that this system, in tandem with the region's automotive economic base, has chronically frustrated the population's quest for basic physical, social, and psychological resources. These frustrations, in turn, generated numerous adaptations—distrust, scapegoating, identity politics, segregation, unionization, and jurisdictional fragmentation—that collectively leave Detroit in an uncompetitive and unsustainable position. Partly a self-portrait, in which Detroiters paint their own stories through songs, poems, and oral histories, Driving Detroit offers an intimate, insightful, and perhaps controversial explanation for the stunning contrasts—poverty and plenty, decay and splendor, despair and resilience—that characterize the once mighty city.
After living in San Francisco for 15 years, journalist Gordon Young found himself yearning for his Rust Belt hometown: Flint, Michigan, the birthplace of General Motors and “star” of the Michael Moore documentary Roger & Me. Hoping to rediscover and help a place that once boasted one of the world’s highest per capita income levels, but is now one of the country's most impoverished and dangerous cities, he returned to Flint with the intention of buying a house. What he found was a place of stark contrasts and dramatic stories, where an exotic dancer can afford a lavish mansion, speculators scoop up cheap houses by the dozen on eBay, and arson is often the quickest route to neighborhood beautification. Skillfully blending personal memoir, historical inquiry, and interviews with Flint residents, Young constructs a vibrant tale of a once-thriving city still fighting—despite overwhelming odds—to rise from the ashes. He befriends a rag-tag collection of urban homesteaders and die-hard locals who refuse to give up as they try to transform Flint into a smaller, greener town that offers lessons for cities all over the world. Hard-hitting, insightful, and often painfully funny, Teardown reminds us that cities are ultimately defined by people, not politics or economics.
As America's most dysfunctional big city, Detroit faces urban decay, population losses, fractured neighborhoods with impoverished households, an uneducated, unskilled workforce, too few jobs, a shrinking tax base, budgetary shortfalls, and inadequate public schools. Looking to the city's future, Lewis D. Solomon focuses on pathways to revitalizing Detroit, while offering a cautiously optimistic viewpoint. Solomon urges an economic development strategy, one anchored in Detroit balancing its municipal and public school district's budgets, improving the academic performance of its public schools, rebuilding its tax base, and looking to the private sector to create jobs. He advocates an overlapping, tripartite political economy, one that builds on the foundation of an appropriately sized public sector and a for-profit private sector, with the latter fueling economic growth. Although he acknowledges that Detroit faces a long road to implementation, Solomon sketches a vision of a revitalized economic sector based on two key assets: vacant land and an unskilled labor force. The book is divided into four distinct parts. The first provides background and context, with a brief overview of the city's numerous challenges. The second examines Detroit's immediate efforts to overcome its fiscal crisis. It proposes ways Detroit can be put on the path to financial stability and sustainability. The third considers how Detroit can implement a new approach to job creation, one focused on the for-profit private sector, not the public sector. In the fourth and final part, Solomon argues that residents should pursue a strategy based on the actions of individuals and community groups rather than looking to large-scale projects.
She's known for her rivalries on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, her dramatic divorce, her flawless physique--and her inability to keep her mouth shut. And now, Brandi Glanville is ready to tell all in her hilarious, no-holds barred memoir. Fans have been waiting for Brandi's scoop on one of the biggest divorces of the decade since Brandi's husband of seven years abandoned her and their two sons in 2009 to marry country singer, LeAnn Rimes. Now, not only will fans get Brandi's side of the split, they'll also get the full story of the lovable housewife's wild ride from the ghetto to Hollywood's most elite circles. For the first time, Brandi will share how she escaped a rough childhood on the outskirts of Sacramento with a drug-dealer father and stumbled into a successful modeling career that swept her into a world of Italian fashion shows, private jets, and plastic surgery. Before she knew it, Brandi was the perfect Hollywood trophy wife--at least until her marriage exploded. Today, Brandi is a recent divorcee, mother of two and the newest member of Bravo's juggernaut franchise The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Known for being the refreshingly filter-free housewife and unapologetic mom, she refuses to be the scorned ex-wife, to be bullied, to keep her mouth shut, and, on occasion, to wear a bra.
In 1944 Italian officer Captain Francesco Verdi is captured by Allied forces in North Africa and shipped to a POW camp in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where the senior POW, the ruthless Kommandant Vogel, demands that all prisoners adhere to his Nazi dictates. His life threatened, Verdi escapes from the camp and meets up with an American woman, Chiara Frangiapani, who helps him elude capture as they flee to the Lower Peninsula. By 1956 they have become Frank and Claire Green, a young married couple building a new life in postwar Detroit. When INS agent James Giannopoulos tracks them down, Frank learns that Vogel is executing men like Frank for their wartime transgressions. As a series of brutal murders rivets Detroit, Frank is caught between American justice and Nazi vengeance. In Wolf ’s Mouth, the recollections of Francesco Verdi/Frank Green give voice to the hopes, fears, and hard choices of a survivor as he strives to escape the ghosts of history.
A story of survival and war, love and madness, loyalty and forgiveness, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is an intimate exploration of Fuller’s parents and of the price of being possessed by Africa’s uncompromising, fertile, death-dealing land. We follow Tim and Nicola Fuller hopscotching the continent, restlessly trying to establish a home. War, hardship, and tragedy follow the family even as Nicola fights to hold on to her children, her land, her sanity. But just when it seems that Nicola has been broken by the continent she loves, it is the African earth that revives and nurtures her. Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness is Fuller at her very best.
Detroit was established as a French settlement three-quarters of a century before the founding of this nation. A remote outpost built to protect trapping interests, it grew as agriculture expanded on the new frontier. Its industry leapt forward with the completion of the Erie Canal, which opened up the Great Lakes to the East Coast. Surrounded by untapped natural resources, Detroit turned iron into stoves and railcars, and eventually cars by the millions. This vibrant commercial hub attracted businessmen and labor organizers, European immigrants and African Americans from the rural South. At its heyday in the 1950s and ’60s, one in six American jobs were connected to the auto industry and Detroit. And then the bottom fell out. Detroit: A Biography takes a long, unflinching look at the evolution of one of America’s great cities, and one of the nation’s greatest urban failures. It seeks to explain how the city grew to become the heart of American industry and how its utter collapse resulted from a confluence of public policies, private industry decisions, and deep, thick seams of racism. This updated paperback edition includes recent developments under Michigan’s Emergency Manager law. And it raises the question: when we look at modern-day Detroit, are we looking at the ghost of America’s industrial past or its future? Scott Martelle is the author of The Fear Within and Blood Passion and is a professional journalist who has written for the Detroit News, the Los Angeles Times, the Rochester Times-Union, and more.