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Detroit: An American Autopsy Hardcover – Feb 12 2013


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Detroit: An American Autopsy + Lost Detroit: Stories Behind the Motor City's Majestic Ruins (MI)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The; 1st Edition edition (Feb. 12 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594205345
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594205347
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"LeDuff returns, by the books end, to the bar where his sister was last seen, only to find it unrecognizable. A black man outside explains the changes. 'they trying to put something nice up' in this hellhole he says, speaking of the bar specifically, though his words spread across the city and pay tribute, in equal measure, to its dreamers, its pessimists and to those, resigned and wrung out, who love it despite all. 'Can't say it's working. But what you gonna do? You ain’t gonna be reincarnated, so you got to do the best you can with the moment you got. Do the best you can and try to be good.' LeDuff has done his best, and his book is better than good."
—Paul Clemens, New York Times Book Review


"One cannot read Mr. LeDuff's amalgam of memoir and reportage and not be shaken by the cold eye he casts on hard truths... A little gonzo, a little gumshoe, some gawker, some good-Samaritan—it is hard to ignore reporting like Mr. LeDuff's."
The Wall Street Journal


“Pultizer-Prize-winning journalist LeDuff (Work and Other Sins) delivers an edgy portrait of the decline, destruction, and possible redemption of his hometown…LeDuff writes with honesty and compassion about a city that’s destroying itself–and breaking his heart.”
Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“A book full of both literary grace and hard-won world-weariness…. Iggy Pop meets Jim Carroll and Charles Bukowski”
Kirkus

“This is our pick for a sleeper nonfiction hit next year. Charlie LeDuff is a remarkable journalist, and this book is filled with incredible writing as he witnesses his home city crumble through neglect and corruption.”
Huffington Post

“What to do when you’re a reporter and your native city is rotting away? If you’re LeDuff, you leave The New York Times and head into the wreckage to ride with firemen, hang with the corrupt pols, and retrace your own family’s sad steps through drugs. Others have written well about the city, but none with the visceral anger, the hair-tearing frustration, and the hungry humanity of LeDuff.”
Newsweek


Advance Praise for Detroit:

"You wouldn't think a book about the stinking decay of the American dream could be this engaging, this irreverent, this laugh-at-loud funny. But not everyone can write like Charlie LeDuff. I'm tempted to say he's the writer for our desperate times the way Steinbeck and Orwell were for other people's desperate times, except he's such an original he's like no one but himself."
—Alexandra Fuller, author of Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness and Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

"Charlie LeDuff is a drunkard, a blowhard, a Fox News Reporter -- and a brilliant writer. Detroit is full of righteous anger and heartbreaking details. It's also funny as hell. Hunter S. Thompson would've loved every page of this book."
—Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness

"In Detroit: An American Autopsy, Charlie LeDuff brings alive the reality of our beloved city. The city where I was shot at eight times during my twenty six year police career. Yet, Detroit has survived in spite of corruption, political ineptness, poor education, and decades of unemployment. Detroit: An American Autopsy is a must read for all of America."
—Detroit Police Chief Ike McKinnon (retired); Associate Professor of Education, University of Detroit Mercy
 

About the Author

CHARLIE LEDUFF was a staff writer at the New York Times and a reporter at the Detroit News, and is now a television journalist for Detroit’s Fox 2 News. He contributed to a Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times series and has received a Meyer Berger Award for distinguished writing about New York City. He is the author of US Guys and Work and Other Sins. LeDuff lives with his wife and daughter on the edge of the Detroit city limits.

www.charlieleduff.com

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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marko F. on May 5 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Add one part Bukowski, two parts Nick Tosches, three parts fine Bourbon, four parts the truth: shake well. Let me tell you, LeDuff can write like the best of fictional story tellers, only this isn't fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Len TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 19 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Mr. Le Duff takes an impressionist’s brush to the present city of Detroit. Police and fire fighters work with outdated and broken equipment in conditions more hectic and dangerous than their cohorts in cities that have not declared bankruptcy. Detroit continues rank in the top ten of murder rates in the U.S. and on some lists #1. The average police response time is 58 minutes, ambulance, officially 12, probably more, fire fighters, about 20. The fact that there are 73,000 vacant homes in Detroit may be one of their problems because, as says Mr. Le Duff, watching a house burn is cheaper than going to a movie. Whether occupied or not, fire fighters must search these houses for inhabitants and endanger their lives as a consequence. One fire fighter that Mr. Le Duff followed and got to know died after one of these houses collapsed. The people voted to cope with the systemic problems experienced by a city that has gone bankrupt are either corrupt or incompetent with millions of dollars that are supposed to go into emergency services disappearing and unaccounted for. Kwame Kilpatrick, mayor of Detroit from 2002 to 2008 was convicted of 24 counts of extortion, racketeering and bribery and sentenced to 28 years in prison.
Curiously, the death of the middle class in the U.S. has been so little documented in books such as this one or in film, or television (with the exception of “The Wire”.) The loss of good paying jobs in Detroit and around the country has left huge pockets of population without meaningful employment. Statistics would support this book as documenting a case study of life experienced by the dislocated and disoriented throughout the U.S.A. and not just a series of problems unique to the history and environs of Detroit. Too bad there aren't more.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this in one sitting. It is simply one of the best books I've read in a long long time. LeDuff makes you feel not just for the people of Detroit but for the once great City, too! You feel the pain that Detroit is going through, how the corruption of officials at all levels are destroying what remains of the city and how many normal folks are trying to keep things together. You also will feel your blood boil when you realize how these self-same individuals are harassed and picked on for just trying to get by. Laws that make no sense are enforced while others are ignored due to the neighbourhoods that the crimes are being performed in.

As to the prose, it is top notch. I have never felt so pulled along by any book as I've been with Detroit. LeDuff simply has a way with words that is truly rare and it's no wonder he's won so many accolades and awards!

If you want to see what may well be a foretelling of what can befall any of our great cities, you owe it to yourself to read Detroit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By FJM on Sept. 6 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A excellent read. Charlie LeDuff is a great storyteller. If you want to get a feel for how bad things in Detroit are read this book!
How many other cities in the US or parts of them are in as bad a shape as Detroit. It seems that politicians at all levels fiddle while cities burn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard on April 7 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the best non-fiction books I've ever read. It is frightening to see how a once-vibrant city can be destroyed through corruption and an economic downturn. The photos are haunting and the level of corruption infuriating.
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By Brenda Kinnear on July 7 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great and entertaining read. Very well written
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The best book written about Detroit in the last decade.
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Sad book in a way but so real. Leduff really captures detroit and it's fall. He also explains it's downfall so well. No fancy words. It reads like he is talking to you directly. Awesome.
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