Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff

Here in Houston, when there is a wreck on the freeway, traffic slows down on both sides as other drivers take a look at the wreckage, wreckers, police, and ambulances; this is commonly referred to as "rubber-necking."  While reading this book, that's what I felt like I was doing--getting a long look into a real wreck. 

To an average educated, professional person the wreck that is Detroit is just incomprehensible.   It is hard to comprehend the despair, hopelessness, and outright depravity of some of the people who survive in today's Detroit.  It is hard to grasp the degree of corruption in the city structure.  It is also hard to understand why the author chose to bring his wife and daughter back to live in his hometown, Detroit. 

It is a fascinating, horrifying study in urban collapse. If it had been written by a less brilliant writer, it wouldn't have been worth reading. But it was so well written that it pulls you into the place and you feel the hurt and the fear and the frustration.  A hard book to read, a hard book to put down.

1 comment:

Hattie said...

I read Nancy Nall's blog for a good perspective on Detroit.