detroit an american autopsy

As you may have heard, Detroit has filed for bankruptcy. If you’re looking for some context and how and why this could have happened, you might want to give Detroit native and journalist Charlie LeDuff’s book Detroit: An American Autopsy a read. We had him on the show a few months ago, and one of the things he reflected on was Detroit’s future:

I don’t mean that as an anthem to a dead city, but it’s almost there. Everybody asks me, ‘What’s the future here?’ and I say, 'We have auto companies. We have the biggest trade corridor on the continent with Canada. We have all the freshwater in the world. We have great hospitals and the tech center. We are well-positioned, but none of that is going to flower until we weed the garden today of people like [former city councilwoman] Monica Conyers and these sludge contracts, and all the cheating and robbing and killing. Forget the future. Focus on the present. And if we don’t, then, yes, we will completely be dead.

Image via Wired

Summer Reading List 2014: Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff

 Charlie LeDuff is a Detroit native who packed up the wife and kids and left a cushy journalism job in sunny California to return to his burnt-out homeland, a place where arson is a city wide pastime, police response time is so high no one bothers to call 911, government officials are caricatures of corruption, and most citizens gave up on looking for a job a long time ago. Detroit is one of the poorest, most dangerous cities in American, and LeDuff invites his audience to go on a seedy journey with him to uncover why. This book is a real live, no bullshit film noir, but despite his pulp-novel voice, LeDuff is a damned good professional, and weaves together narratives of auto industry collapse, mayoral crime, white flight, heroic firefighting squadrons, murders of the innocent, and his own heartbreaking family history to paint a living, breathing, bleeding portrait of Detroit. His mingled disgust and love for his city in infectious, as is his world-weary bruised and battered insistence that yes, things can get better, because they’ve already gotten worse. It’s quite possible that one man has done a better job in chronicling the collapse and rebirth of America’s most infamous city in one book than most economists and sociologists have done in ten years, and it’s not something to be missed.

roseblight  asked:

Hi ♥ since following your tumblr I've been thinking about class a lot, then today I read "she didn’t say it, but class seemed to be an excuse for people who made the wrong choices in life" and my head nearly imploded. Can you recommend any reading material?

idk idk idk you mean contemporary stuff about class? (as opposed to, like, das kapital?) hmmmmmmm:

  • ain’t no makin’ it by jay macleod
  • the corner: a year in the life of an inner-city neighbourhood & homicide: a year on the killing streets by david simon & ed burns
  • anything by bell hooks really (i’d recommend where we stand: class matters but it’s really expensive to buy)
  • valencia & the chelsea whistle by michelle tea
  • bastard out of carolina by dorothy allison
  • inferno by eileen myles
  • i mean, toni morrison exists
  • i can’t not put charlie leduff on a list about class, so work and other sins and detroit: an american autopsy
  • i don’t wanna be like ‘the wire’, but. the wire. there are no pretenders to that throne.
  • (NOT OWEN JONES OR CAITLIN MORAN OR LAURIE PENNY, FUCK THEM. yes i’m aware this list is very american, class discourse in britain is so for shit that i’m struggling to think of anyone.)