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Detroit: An American Autopsy Paperback – 28 Jan 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (28 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143124463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143124467
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2.3 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Detroit An explosive expose 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 ri...

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By niek on 4 April 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Considering that this writer already has managed to write one epic adventure (multiple actually) in US GUYS, this is not that bad. Great writing style, overarching storylines and just a blast to read. For a european this is a must read if you want to know things inherently USA.

This book is not just about the Boom and Bust of motorcity DETROIT but everyone in it. Individual storylines that really suck you in. Firefighters having to do with pretty rundown equipment, with devastating results when trying to put out a blaze. Corruption on a scale so grand there is simply no coparison. Politicians taking on 7th graders in debates and visa versa. Family deaths, family feuds you name it.

Just like Leduffs previous works it consists of short stories, that all overarch in the grand scheme of things.

Definite recommendation to basically anyone who likes reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trev Go on 11 Oct 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being one of those odd types who are fascinated by urban decay, this was a must read for me. I was familiar with LeDuff through his video clips for Fox TV that can be found on Youtube, so did not anticipate a book written in classical prose. He's whole demeanour is that of someone brought up in the gritty environs of Detroit. Hard drinking, hard smoking, and using a vernacular so American, the book could really do with a glossary for Europeans. Through his anecdotes, he paints a very vivid picture of what goes on in a barely functioning city, although one does wonder if things haven't been a little embroidered here and there. It would not be the first time he has been accused of such in his career.

A dry historical analysis of Detroit is never going to give the best account, and I welcomed the view through his personal perspective, which struck me as pretty well sorted. He does not, for example, skate around the race issue just to remain "politically correct". He speaks as he finds. This was a book I didn't to put down until I'd finished, which did not take long. It's not a hefty tome. Thoroughly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas on 15 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a great read. Each chapter is just the right length you always want to read on that bit longer and LeDuff's writing style is very fluent.

I was fascinated with the urban decay of Detroit and this book provided the insight to the daily lives of people living there. From the firemen with no screen doors to the corrupt politicians accepting bribes and even to LeDuff's sister and niece.

LeDuff's niece offers to come over and babysit but he refuses the offer as he reckons she'll just move in and drink all his liquor and eat his food then leave weeks later. Little side-stories like this build a picture of a broken, down-on-their-luck Detroit population hoping for a better future.

The only city in America to be occupied by the army three times...read this book to find out why.
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