Sunday, April 28, 2013

Detroit: An American Autopsy

Detroit: An American AutopsyDetroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Charlie LeDuff wasn't a blip on my radar until recently. I saw some of his reporting and was mesmerized by his storytelling (if you haven't watched his work, check out this clip: I figured anyone who could tell a story with such great detail for TV could work magic in a book.

I was right.

Detroit would not be my favorite American city to read about. It's in the news. It's almost never good news. But there was something about the idea of reading about the fall and potential of this once powerful city that appealed to me. If you read nothing else about this book, consider this quote.

"I guess when you get down to it, it's simple," Nevin says. "The man took his factory away, but he didn't take the people with him."

Detroit is losing people at a rapid rate - either to death or to relocation. Why? Is it the lack of jobs? Is it the rampant corruption? These are all things LeDuff explores in this book.

It's personal to him. It should be personal to us all. There's nothing great about one city failing when it could easily succeed. Detroit is worth saving. America needs to remember that. What happened and is still happening in Motor City could happen anywhere.

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