The Motor City and Me: Our Story

The Motor City and Me: Our Story

by Mary Anne McMahon


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"The Motor City and Me: Our Story" by Mary Anne McMahon highlights the rich history of Detroit and how the Motor City has left a lasting impact on one woman and her family.

Primarily following McMahon's life and experiences in Detroit, "The Motor City and Me" tells her story from growing up as a young girl in the city and graduating from the University of Detroit to beginning her adult life and eventually moving away.

Although she left the city long ago, McMahon's story shows readers how the Motor City has permanently changed her for the better. Paralleling the rise and fall of Detroit with the ups and downs of her own life, the author shows readers how Detroit values strengthened and reassured her throughout the difficult times.

"I read my mother's autobiography and took a journey through 20th century Detroit, and my ancestors had a remarkable journey in the 1800s to Detroit," says McMahon. "Unfortunately, the details of their stories are all buried with them. I want to provide an example of how over time, an ordinary life becomes a glimpse of history and priceless for future generations."

From the rise and fall of the automotive industry to the city's recent financial woes, "The Motor City and Me" strives to take readers on a personal journey through an extraordinary American city. Tracing her family's Detroit lineage through four generations, McMahon's memoirs aims to give readers a thorough look at the city's history and the indelible mark it has left on her.

About the Author:
Mary Anne McMahon was born and raised in Detroit. Unlike most fathers of her generation, McMahon's father owned and operated a civil engineering company instead of having a connection to the auto industry. Along with her brother Jim, McMahon experienced a happy childhood, attending eastside Catholic schools and enjoying the once flourishing city, eventually following in her father and brother's footsteps by graduating from the University of Detroit. McMahon has over 28 years of teaching experience, including time during the city's period of racial unrest in the 1960s. Although she moved to Houston in 1976, McMahon and her family still regarded Detroit as the only place they would ever call home. She has two daughters and two grandchildren and currently lives in Houston with her husband, Bill.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781480053182
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 07/08/2013
Pages: 354
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)

Customer Reviews

The Motor City and Me: Our Story 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Rattan Whig for Readers' Favorite The Motor City and Me: Our Story by Mary Anne McMahon recounts the story of a migrant family settled in Detroit. Through the book the author describes, rather flamboyantly, the magnificence of Detroit as one of the foremost industrial cities and hub of cultural and socio-economic breakthroughs, through its decline and the reasons that led to it. There is more than a touch of melodrama as the author tells the story through an accumulation of writings of close family members while adding to those writings generously to provide a sense of completeness.   With the arrival of various members of the family in America in 1800s to the subsequent birth of children and their children in turn, to the many exchanges between the grandparents and great grandparents, and through the economic, political and cultural upheavals during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the story winds fascinatingly, taking the reader through many events and timelines while the story quietly unfolds in the background. As one generation passes the baton to another, dreams, promises, and hopes of a better life pass on and get mingled with those of the receiver. These dreams, promises, and hopes are captured beautifully throughout the story. Love and respect permeates as the author retraces her roots, traveling to places on three continents, trying to trace the path taken by her great grandparents from Ireland, Austria, and Germany.    The story provides a unique perspective on history, a glimpse of times past when cross-border journeys demanded war-like courage, times of extreme hardship, and modest rewards. The book recounts the struggle of families, not just economic, but those kind which are closer to the heart.
carrolwolve More than 1 year ago
This first person narrative tells two stories. One is the rise and fall of Detroit; the other is the story of the author, which parallels that of the Motor City. The author lived much of this history and weaves in telling historical facts. Detroit heralded many firsts including the advent of the assembly line, employee benefits, a living wage for workers, people having a voice in politics, freeways, stop lights, and shopping malls. Motor City inspired all these new wonders plus, of course, the muscle car. Per this author, it was a great place to grow up, and she led an idyllic life, taking public transportation downtown with a friend at age twelve along with playing outside well into the evening with neighborhood friends. Detroit in the 1950's had the highest median income in the country, and she lived well. The name Motown came from Detroit as well and is actually short for Motor City or more likely, motor town. The races rarely mixed, however, and race riots first in 1943 and then 1967 screamed discontent, exclusion, and injustice. They signaled the downfall of Detroit, and the 1967 aftermath fueled white exodus. She grew up oblivious to the plight of minorities, and apparently, so did the rest of white Detroit. Though grateful for wonderful memories surrounded with love, she says her trouble-free upbringing left her unprepared for the turbulence of later life. She is a survivor, raised two great daughters, and grew through it all. Although her style is sometimes prosaic and repetitive, facts and history shine through to make this an excellent memoir. Just read till you get to the good stuff.
AvidReader59IK More than 1 year ago
Great Story About One Woman's Love For The Motor City The Motor City and Me: Our Story is a touching story of one woman's memories in and love for Detroit, Michigan. Mary Anne McMahon grew up in Detroit and graduating from the University of Detroit. Four generations of her family lived in Detroit and McMahon shares her stories with readers. Readers will feel Mary's love and devotion for a city that forever touched her heart and mind. Highly Recommended Read!!!