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  • Published: Chicago : Chicago Review Press, 2012.
  • Year Published: 2012
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 288 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 9781569765265
  • 156976526X

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Detroit : a biography

by Martelle, Scott, 1958-

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Where To Find It

Call number: 977.434 Ma

Community Reviews

The City Next Door

I grew up in Ann Arbor, making only occasional visits to Detroit to visit Cobo Hall or the Detroit Zoo, so I really didn't know very much about the city next door. I selected this book because I wanted to know more, and also because I thought that the story of Detroit was the story of America in microcosm. After all, two of the biggest stories in American history are about race and labor vs. capital, and Detroit's rise and fall is all about those things.

I certainly enjoyed this book and learned a lot. I was especially interested in the story of how the "white flight" from Detroit was encouraged by real estate agents who got rich exploiting the race paranoia of white residents to make fortunes turning over entire neighborhoods. But the book didn't really live up to my hopes. It covers the history of the city in reasonable detail, but it isn't awfully insightful. The author, a journalist, livens up all the dead history with vignettes describing current residents and that strengthens the ties between the past and the present. So it's good, but not brilliant.

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