Detroit – An American Autopsy, by Charlie LeDuff

DetroitAn autopsy is an examination to find the cause of death. From the title, you can assume the subject, Detroit, is dead. Every example LeDuff gives, every person’s life story, reads like an obituary, and the city is presented as if it were dead, over and done for, not to be resuscitated, been there, screwed that up and got the T-shirt to prove it. Even the harsh black and white photos by Danny Wilcox Frazier underscores the message that the city is beyond saving. LeDuff, a working journalist but a controversial one, grew up in Detroit, Michigan, US, and tells the story of the decline and fall of the city alongside the story of the fall into poverty and death by misdemeanour and suicide of his own family members. It’s not lightweight stuff. It has the ring of truth to it. Still, for every Charlie LeDuff who says the city is dead, another writer or analyst will say the opposite and deny the elephant in the room. (Continue reading…)

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