Detroit: An American Autopsy

Detroit: An American Autopsy

by Charlie LeDuff
4.5 69

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Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff

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 capital for unemployment, illiteracy, foreclosure, and dropouts.With the steel-eyed reportage that has become his trademark and the righteous indignation that only a native son can possess, journalist Charlie LeDuff sets out to uncover what has brought low this once-vibrant city, his city. In doing so, he uncovers the deeply human drama of a city filled with some of the strongest-and strangest-people our country has to offer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781622312047
Publisher: HighBridge Company
Publication date: 05/21/2013
Edition description: Unabridged; 7.25 hours
Pages: 460
Sales rank: 585,554
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 6.20(h) x 0.60(d)

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Detroit: An American Autopsy 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
MullyJS More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Lark11 More than 1 year ago
Stories from Detroit.  I've never set foot in Detroit, but on some level I've always respected it. Detroit is a hard scrabble, blue collar city. Admittedly, it's likely easier to admire these types of places than to actually live there. Still, LeDuff does a nice job of portraying the terrible beauty of Detroit. LeDuff is a natural storyteller. He understands the common man and has a real feel for the streets. Add in a personality type that enjoys muckraking and taking on authority and you have someone well positioned to write this book. However, my only really issue with this book is that it is slightly misnamed. It's not really an autopsy, it's more of an obituary. LeDuff doesn't really delve into the true causes of Detroit's decline, but rather tells compelling stories about its life and times. I was hoping to get greater insight and evidence into the reasons for Detroit's decline, but this is more about the human experience of living through the decline. Still compelling, but in a different than expected way.   I suspect LeDuff's understanding of the common man comes from a heightened sense of empathy, which allows him to really convey the pain of the living in a deteriorating city. LeDuff strings together story after story about the Detroit experience. Many of them bleak, some of them uplifting, all of them emotionally affecting. I'm sure every reader has a specific passage that affected them the most, but mine comes from a woman who talks about how society feels about her: I know society looks at a person like me and wants me to go away. Go ahead, walk in the Detroit River and disappear. But I can't. I'm alive. I need help. But when you call for help, it seems like no one's there. It feels like there ain't no love no more. A gut-wrenching sentiment and a clear indication that society has failed its citizens in a fundamental way. That the city is truly broken. And yet, the people endure.   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found myself laughing in places of this book as I know well some of the locations. Other times I nearly cried as the once great city has been dead for some time now and none of its residents know it. There have been some signs of a rebirth but the sad fact is, Detroit has been raped, pillaged and plundered for a long time by a good many people and Charlie LeDuff spent time sifting through the wreckage to bring us a sad report. Like a crime scene investigator, he details not so much as the why but lots of the how. He doesn't flinch in what he says and it's easy to love him for it. Such an account is refreshing and also sobering. Those who stay, whether trapped by circumstances or compelled to, are here in the book and your heart goes out for them. Detroit is its people and there are lots of good ones there. LeDuff's words are also sage; more than once he tells the reader that this blight is not an isolated incident but is reaching out to other big cities. Maybe yours will see this decline someday so strengthen that which remains.
Tojuro More than 1 year ago
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. 
Lawrence_Von_Frederick More than 1 year ago
Compelling journalist first hand experience with the endemic problems of a rust belt city with non-reformed politics. The writing is well done, expressing the emotions of one who sees a city in which he was raised collapse and the damage done to individuals who are trying to do the best they can. The damage of non-reformed, unprofessional, partisan politics is honestly captured. How those politics become cancerous, malignant, is well captured. Illustrates how a city can lose over half its population and most of its wealth while the politics continue as they have in the past. With the investigative depth of the reporting it is indeed an autopsy and a must read for students of and citizens under urban politics.
JerseyBoy More than 1 year ago
An in your face no sugar coating expose of the political machine and how it has driven the city into the abyss. It's refreshing to read an account that isn't restrained by political correctness or driven by its own agenda. Just the plain and simple facts of a city failed by the people who are supposed to protect it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the first page to the last you FEEL the pain of a city with a bad case of Cancer. If you live in Detroit, read this book. If you live in Michigan, read this book. For that matter, if you live in America read this book. This is US people! Dont look the other way!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Right on!  I think Charlie should run for mayor!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having grown up in the suburbs of Detroit, I found this book to be very enlightening.
StierBri More than 1 year ago
This book was absolutely amazing! I began it on a Friday evening and was done with it on Saturday morning! I am a native Detroit-er who left the city when I was a teen due to the escalating violence in our area.  I now teach in a Detroit high school and what I see on a daily basis is scary.  I drove by my old house and wept because of how badly the area had decayed in the past 20 years.  There are some good people here, and I believe in what I do, but we need people who are willing to help.  This book tells it like it is!  Good job Charlie!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Being from Detroit I found this book interesting. Good read
Anonymous 6 months ago
Anyone with Detroit roots will be embarrassed by what greed and intolerance has done in Detroit
Anonymous 8 months ago
Great read, left me hungering for more.
Anonymous 8 months ago
A well written, well structured look at what happened to Detroit and may well happen in many of our cities (and elsewhere) if we can't get a handle on corruption throughout our society. There is no aspect of life in America that is immune; government leads the list, with business, education, religion, and entire cultures not far behind. The sub title is an apt description and potentially a prognosis.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once started didn't want to put it down. Wish he would point out more that change starts with the people by not turning a blind eye and not walking away for their own safety. Still a great book that you want to finish as soon as possible!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
arcdude More than 1 year ago
As someone who has lived my entire life in and around Detroit, I can attest to the facts presented in this book. But I was surprised to see that this book was published in 2013, as it describes a Detroit as it was in the depths of the George W Bush administration. By 2013, much has changed in this city. For one thing, the auto industry has bounced back tremendously and is selling more cars than ever before. His comment about more cars being sold in China than the US is true. China's population is many times higher than ours, and more people in China can now afford cars. But most of the cars built in China are from Detroit based companies, and they are built for the burgeoning Chinese market. Unemployment is very low nationally, and Southeastern Michigan's rate of unemployment is lower than the national average. Many blighted neighborhoods have been leveled due to an aggressive campaign to get rid of abandoned homes. These areas have either been rebuilt or turned into urban farms where much produce is grown to feed the local residents. Even the Michigan central train terminal has had all its windows replaced and is in the process of being restored. The downtown area is thriving with new development on the riverfront and in new sports arenas. Even the streetlights are being replaced with state of the art LED lights that is now 80% complete. I lived for a time in the absolute worst neighborhood in the city and it was not nearly as bad as the neighborhoods that LeDuff describes. I cannot fathom why a native Detroiter would paint such a dismal picture of a city that has rebounded so much that many people are now moving into the city from the suburbs and from out of state. Many new restaurants and breweries are opening up all over the city in record numbers. This city is alive and vibrant and there is no need for an autopsy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good look at the true Detroit! It's a sad story but a truthful look at one of many cities in the U.S. full of corruption and not much of a future. I pray the city's bankruptcy is not the waive of the future but there was no other choice for Detroit. It's too bad Obama has not helped Michigan in the least. So many of Michigan voted for him, even a second time, & believed his many empty promises. Yes, I live in Michigan & voted for him once, but I won't live here for much longer. Obama has created an exodus, no matter your race. That's right the economy is still horrific in 2014. In Michigan & many other states.