Customer Reviews for

Detroit: An American Autopsy

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    I read the entire book in one sitting!!! Leduff tells the story

    I read the entire book in one sitting!!! Leduff tells the story of Detroit like it is, without all the PC rhetoric that has kept the city from making the changes necessary to rebound. Detroit is the end result of liberal entitlement programs and the future of this country as a whole. What a shame.

    17 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    This book was AWESOME!!! LeDuff gives great incite into the many

    This book was AWESOME!!! LeDuff gives great incite into the many transitions that have taken place throughout the history of Detroit.   Seeing as though he and his ancestors have evolved with the city, it really places a nice touch upon the story and gives the reader some understanding of LeDuff and Detroit alike.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    I lived in Detroit and saw it decay. Kudo's to Chalie Leduff!!!

    I lived in Detroit and saw it decay. Kudo's to Chalie Leduff!!!! It intrigues me to see the changes I have seen in Detroit and lived there through too many of them to count. Detroit is like a good dream gone wrong.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2013

    Laying it On the Line

    Having been born and raised in the Chicago area, and lived in the Midwest Rust Belt during much of the period this Author chronicles in his book, I can assure you he writes the truth and pulls no punches. Well crafted in every respect, this book should not be missed. I literally felt the Author's emotional exhaustion by the time I turned the last page. Kudos to you Mr. LeDuff, . . . your project was worth every bit of the emotion you poured into it.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    A storybook about a dying city and a hope that it can be reborn.

    People live in Detroit. Charlie LeDuff called the book an American Autopsy because he's picking through the bones of the city he grew up in. The way he describes it, I feel like I'm reading a futuristic tale about the earth after it is all but destroyed. And it's real and people live there. Detroit is a great book, really well written and EVERYBODY should read it because there's no stopping this kind of destruction to any city. Every congressman and every senator and every mayor and councilman and taxpayer and student should read this book and demand more of their own town and themselves.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    Devoured this.

    LeDuff is a gritty and engaging writer. This is *the* book to read about the current state of Detroit and how it all came to be.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    I liked the hard-hitting, nothing-but-the-facts approach to desc

    I liked the hard-hitting, nothing-but-the-facts approach to describing and personalizing the decay of Detroit. It seems Detroit's idea of urban renewal is to let the vacant buildings stand until they fall down themselves - or are torched. However, LeDuff has written the book in such a way that is compellingly entertaining and will make you laugh at the absurdity and audacity of the corruption that was the driving force in Dettroit's demise. An excellent read, hard to put it down once you get started.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    Right on!  I think Charlie should run for mayor!

    Right on!  I think Charlie should run for mayor!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Very dark and very good

    Having grown up in the suburbs of Detroit, I found this book to be very enlightening.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    I could not put this book down. I was born and raised in Detroit

    I could not put this book down. I was born and raised in Detroit and left the city in 1969. It is such a shame what has become of this city. Leduff tells it like it is, geat read, I highly recommend!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2014

    This is the story of the once great city of Detroit.    It's a t

    This is the story of the once great city of Detroit.    It's a tale without a protagonist or any hint of a happy ending -- just malfeasance mixed with the constant presence of decay.   Unfortunately, in all this, it's completely honest.  

    LeDuff's writing echoes Hunter S Thompson, with hints of Bukowski.  Most importantly, for this story, it speaks from the street level.    It's very effective here. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    Telling like it is.

    Good book. If your from Detroit, great book. Easy to relate to and understand everything he talks about. Love Charlie's style. I live in Charlotte, NC now but I watch Charlie's segment on my Fox 2 news app all the time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    AGA...EXCELLENT

    I can only sum it up by saying it is a must read book! Very honest and heartfelt.Much repect for LeDuff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2013

    Insightful,, Insightful, Entertaining & Depressing All At Once

    A sad but truthful look into a once iconic American city. Told story by story which makes you not want to put it down.

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  • Posted August 14, 2013

    I¿ve just put down Detroit: An American Autopsy.  And wow, what

    I’ve just put down Detroit: An American Autopsy.  And wow, what a great read!  This is not something I would’ve typically picked up on my own, but about a month ago I heard an interview with the author on NPR that piqued my interest.  Charlie LeDuff, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, who is actually from Detroit, returned home and after years of living in the country’s media centers of Los Angeles and New York.  It was while he worked for the New York Times that he received his Pulitzer Prize, for a series called How Race Is Lived in America.  It’s this provocative style of writing he is known for, and something that makes this particular book worth reading.
    If you’ve never cared much about Detroit, that’s ok.  Get just a few pages into this book and it’ll be nearly impossible to remain uninterested.  Being his hometown, LeDuff has experienced just how tough this city is.  The city itself is presented almost as a case-study of the decline of the American economy in this era, and the decline of the middle class overall.  In my opinion, that is something everyone should be concerned about.  Detroit had once been one of the most important cities in America, and certainly the most important industrial city of the 20th century.  That era has passed, and with it went the city’s middle class workforce.  When the economy collapsed in 2008, many questions were raised as to how this had happened (other than the obvious indicators).  There were talks about bailouts of the auto industry, but the truth is, as LeDuff points out, Detroit had been dead long before:
    “No one cared much about Detroit until the Dow collapsed in 2008, the economy melted down and the chief executives of the Big Three went to Washington, D.C. to grovel.  Suddenly the eyes of the nation turned back upon this postindustrial sarcophagus, where crime and mismanagement and mayhem played themselves out in the corridors of power and on the powerless streets” – 3
    There is much more to this book than just a chronicle of the decline of the city.  The city’s economic decline is worsened by government corruption on every level, rampant crime, failing schools, and police officers and firemen who were understaffed and under-equiped.  LeDuff uses his own history to illustrate the toll the city itself takes on the individual.  Because race has been such an issue in the city (not unlike most major cities nationwide), he traces his own mixed-race lineage which includes African and native American blood.  One of the most disheartening parts of the story includes his description of his sister’s own experiences.  She and her daughter are victims of alcohol and drug abuse, unable to escape the city’s vices.  So many of the city’s youth fall victim to the streets.  LeDuff places the blame on the city itself.  He expresses his contempt and feeling of hopelessness for the fate of the city’s youth:
    “It would be easy to lay the blame on McNeal for the circumstances in which she raised her sons.  But is she responsible for police officers with broken computers in their squad cars, firefighters with holes in their boots, ambulances that arrive late, a city that can’t keep its lights on and leaves its vacant buildings to the arsonist’s match, a state government that allows corpses to stack up in the morgue, multinational corporations that move away and leave poisoned fields behind, judges who let violent criminals walk the streets, school stewards who steal the children’s milk money, elected officials who loot the city, automobile executives who couldn’t manage a grocery store, or Wall Street grifters who destroyed the economy and left the nation’s children with a burden of debt while they partied it up in Southampton?” – 271
    It’s a lot to digest!  He makes a strong argument that Detroit is not alone in its decline.  Beginning in the early part of the 20th century, Detroit was once a great city.  A city in which the average American could find a well-paying blue collar job.  This part of the American dream was also open to African Americans, long before they would enjoy similar opportunities elsewhere in the U.S.  Yet, beginning in the late 1950s, when Japanese automakers began their ascent, Detroit began to close factories down.  This continued, and resulted in the exodus of  workers, businesses, educators, an overall loss of revenue for the city, and eventually the city’s ultimate collapse.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    Read it in 2 sittingd Totallt Top flight first pdrdon Top flight first person journalism-readit Top flight first person journalism

    LeDuff intertwines his personal story with that of other human beings with the big issue of the collapse of the once mighty city of Detroit. Reads like fiction but it is the hard reality and sometimes dark humor of Detroit today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Excellent first person account--easy reading--highly recommended

    The author grew up in Detroit and presents an outstanding, easy-to-read first person account of his life in the city--childhood, growing up and his adulthood. In so doing, he presents an interesting history of the city. As a result, I learned a lot about Detroit, such as, politics of the city, the rise and fall of the auto industry and personal experiences of his extended family. Afterwards I felt as if I got to know the author and his family, what it was like living in Detroit and watching it decay.

    Highly recommended--a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Piercing and perceptive

    From a writer almost as self-destructive as the city for which he despairs, an account of the new generation of survivors who can't do other than live on in the wake of the plunderings of the rapacious ruling classes, for a Detroiter who grew up not far from LeDuff, every word ring true. A must read for evryone interested in contemporary America.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2013

    Outstanding

    I really enjoyed reading this inside view of the failings of Detroit.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    You should read it

    I lived in Michigan for ten years, and it was inevitable that I would visit Detroit. Most people who don't live there go around it. It is such a sad situation. I read too many books at once, so I read only a bit of this one. It made me shiver!

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