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Quite the World, Isn't It?

A couple of early reviews for Detroit: A Biography

The weeks leading up to, and after, the publication date for a book is always a bit nerve-wracking. You try to put it out of your mind, but there's always the node in the back of the brain that has you wondering, did I do it right? I'm happy to say that the first two early looks are positive for Detroit: A Biography.

Kirkus Reviews was first out, but the post is limited to subscribers until the book comes out April 1. The highlight: "The city’s death warrant, writes Martelle, was signed when the industry converting back to auto production after the war failed to diversify. Now much of it is returning to meadows and pasture. A valuable biography sure to appeal to readers seeking to come to grips with important problems facing not just a city, but a country."

And now comes Publishers Weekly, with this nice highlight:
Former Detroit News reporter Martelle (Blood Passion) vividly recounts the rise and downfall of a once-great city, from its origins as a French military outpost to protect fur traders and tame local Indian tribes, to the industrial giant known colloquially as Motown, and now when its “economy seized up like an engine run dry.” ... Today, says Martelle, Detroit has been abandoned by both the Big Three auto makers and most of its citizens, leaving primarily black residents, many uneducated, jobless, and poor. Martelle, also an occasional contributor to PW, offers an informative albeit depressing glimpse of the workings of a once-great city that is now a shell of its former self.
Nice words to read. Of course, there's more to the book than these reviews could capture in short write-ups, and it's not all doom and gloom. My intent was to try to explain to people who don't know Detroit how it came to be, both in the best and the worst of the place. And what the rise and fall of Detroit might mean for our other urban cores. So I'm looking forward to the longer takes that (I hope) will crop up beginning in late March.
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