Monday, March 25, 2013
Detroit: An American Autopsy Review
I love this book.
Part of my fascination/interest is that I live in a city which hasn't sunk quite to Detroit levels but according to many (of the smart people I know) isn't so far off the course. How does an American city, once the epitome of progress and prosperity, sink to a level not so far from the futuristic unrealities of Mad Max.
Okay, I'm dramatizing as does this book. Beautifully. Leduff is a journalist who returns to his home town to find wreckage and despair. A journalist still, he documents the numbers....the rapid decline in population, white flight, murders, poverty and on. Bad schools with low graduation rates and literacy. unemployment. But he also lets his anger shine through and writes honestly about what he sees.
Does the book have flaws? Yes, sometimes Leduff is writing out of emotion which is so engaging but perhaps biased? But he isn't writing for a newspaper here...he's writing a story and it shines. I got all I expected out of the book and more. Leduff is really funny, if perhaps sometimes only darkly so.
He will/should win a major prize for this book. I love this book.