The Last Days of Detroit

The Last Days of Detroit : Motor Cars, Motown and the Collapse of an Industrial Giant

3.87 (129 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Once America's capitalist dream town, the Silicon Valley of the Jazz Age, Detroit became the country's greatest urban failure, having fallen the longest and the furthest. The city of Henry Ford, modernity, and Motown found itself blighted by riots, arson, unemployment, crime and corruption.

But what happens to a once-great place after it has been used up and discarded? Who stays there to try to make things work again? And what sorts of newcomers are drawn there?

Mark Binelli returned to his native Detroit to explore the city's swathes of abandoned buildings, miles of urban prairie, and streets filled with wild dogs, to tell the story of the new society emerging from the debris. Here he chronicles Detroit with its urban farms and vibrant arts scene, Detroit as a laboratory for the post-industrial, post-recession world, Detroit reimagined as a city for a new century.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 26mm | 326g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0099553880
  • 9780099553885
  • 280,332

Review quote

"A riveting and hugely unsettling guided tour through his dysfunctional, compulsively interesting home town... Binelli, journalist with Rolling Stone magazine, is not only a native son of Detroit, but also an acute and canny observer of its bracing dilapidation. And he is never less than informative when it comes to detailing its manifold quirks and strange historical nuances... Binelli constantly shows himself to be a hugely erudite yet eminently streetwise guide to the city in which he came of age. This is a clever, endlessly inventive, passionate tour through the most down-and-out yet plausibly possible of American cities" -- Douglas Kennedy * Times * "A story of extremes, mapped out by a restrained, clear-headed guide who loves the city as much as he is baffled by it" -- Sean O'Hagan * Observer * "This book could easily be an epitaph but Binelli finds green shoots of optimism sprouting up amid the debris" -- Mick Brown * Daily Telegraph * "A superb, diligent, forensic, study of the fall of a great city" -- Jim Carroll * Irish Times * "Binelli is a gifted storyteller... this is a story told with vitality, wit and affection... the reader cannot fail to be moved by his conclusion, rooted in Detroit's own motto. Speramus meliora. We hope for better things" -- Melanie McGrath * Sunday Telegraph * "Binelli is a Detroit native, and if he provides an authoritative portrait of urban cataclysm, he also faithfully charts the glorious rise of the Motor City... His account is often mesmerising in its shocking detail" -- Peter Carty * Independent on Sunday * "Deeply intelligent, sceptical, passionate and informative. An important work of contemporary cultural analysis, it is also wonderfully entertaining" -- Kevin Powers * Sunday Business Post * "Binelli's compelling book is a nightmare vision of a city which refuses to die" -- David Sternhouse * Scotland on Sunday *
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About Mark Binelli

Mark Binelli grew up in Detroit. He graduated from the University of Michigan and received an MFA from Columbia University. He writes for Rolling Stone magazine. He is the author of the novel Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die!
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Review Text

"Deeply intelligent, sceptical, passionate and informative. An important work of contemporary cultural analysis, it is also wonderfully entertaining"
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Rating details

129 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 26% (34)
4 43% (55)
3 24% (31)
2 6% (8)
1 1% (1)
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