Apr 282013
 

leduffDetroit, once the nation’s industrial capital, is forty percent vacant.  Politicians are corrupt, robbing what little money still flows through the city.  Murderous thugs roam the streets.  Homelessness, hunger, despair, lawlessness, and unbridled fear imprison law-abiding citizens inside their homes.  Everyone else appears to be hanging onto street corners, jobless, self-medicating their misery.  Certainly, there are worthy people in Detroit, pockets of revival, attempts to replace the rotten timbers of a city already mostly submerged, so why read a book that is simultaneously so depressing and unflinchingly focused on the negative?  Because LeDuff can write like nobody’s business.  After ten years as a New York Times reporter, he returns to his city to write for the Detroit Free Press, covering the city with the guts of a war journalist and the keen eye of a native son.  Read the book because it will take you somewhere you would never go yourself and because no one could write this story any better.

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