Detroit City Is the Place to Be

Detroit City Is the Place to Be

The Afterlife of An American Metropolis

Book - 2013
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Detroit City Is the Place to Be is one of Publishers Weekly 's Top 10 Best Books of 2012

Once America's capitalist dream town, Detroit is our country's greatest urban failure, having fallen the longest and the farthest--and, finally, into the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. But the city's worst crisis yet (and that's saying something) has managed to do the unthinkable: turn the end of days into a laboratory for the future. Urban planners, land speculators, neopastoral agriculturalists, and utopian environmentalists--all have been drawn to Detroit's baroquely decaying, nothing-left-to-lose frontier.

With an eye for both the darkly absurd and the radically new, Detroit-area native Mark Binelli has chronicled this convergence. Sharp and impassioned, Detroit City Is the Place to Be is alive with the sense of possibility that comes when a city hits rock bottom. Binelli does not shy away from exploring the violence, economic devastation, political corruption, and physical ruin that have ravaged his hometown, but he also offers a glimpse of a long-shot future Detroit that is smaller, less segregated, greener, economically diverse, and better functioning--what could be the boldest reimagining of a postindustrial city in our new century.

Publisher: New York, NY : Picador, c2013.
Edition: First Picador edition.
ISBN: 9781250039231
Characteristics: 326 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.


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FederalWayEdna Aug 16, 2016

This book was chosen by our book club because all of us frequented Ann Armor and Detroit in the 1970's-1990's. While Ann Arbor was a vibrant college city, we were warned not to go out alone and not at night while staying in Detroit. We would take an almost empty downtown tram to Greektown for fabulous food. We often wondered how a city famous for making the coolest of cars like Camaros and Thunderbirds and for helping create the Motown sound, look so run-down and become so deserted. Binelli shares the history of Detroit including its very beginning as a French trading post to Henry Ford's success and eventual singular-product manufacturing mistakes and the unfortunate progression of politicking at its worse. It would take a group of unique artists and film producers to try and breathe new life in a city that was viewed as an urban disaster. Interesting city-history read.

Jan 13, 2016

The City of Detroit is the largest American city to go bankrupt. This book chronicles ideas proposed "to settle" the urban prairie. IMHO, I would rate "Detroit City Is The Place To Be" at only 3.50 stars.

Only the U.S. federal government can afford to pay for the demolition of 70,000 abandoned buildings and the assembly of large parcels of land to sell to the private sector for the construction of new factories, commercial buildings and housing.

Jan 28, 2014

Great account of past and present of Detroit. Very fair and balanced account of a city with a troubled history. Loads of fun for a local to read.

juggernaut2032 Sep 02, 2013

Excellent read. A multifaceted account of one of the most important cities, for better or for worse, in America. If you are interested in cities, urban planning, redevelopment, history etc., then this book is for you.

Aug 26, 2013

an expansive topic covered in a breezy fashion without leaving out the substance

emily8 Feb 26, 2013

humor, politics, culture, history, art and a great cast add up to a high recommendation to read...


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