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Book review: Detroit City Is The Place to Be, by Mark Binelli

November 26, 2012

Would you like to be bummed out? Well, this nonfiction work will do it. Detroit is just a wreck. In every respect, things have fallen apart. It’s a pretty comprehensive picture. The people with jobs and resources left: those left are those too poor to flee. There have been decades of attempts to revive Detroit. It’s pretty sad. Abandoned neighborhoods, barely existing city services, a city rife with arson, drugs, and crime. People have turned to subsistence farming, humanity’s basic career, to survive in the rubble.
It reminds me of what happened to the abandoned industrial cities of the Soviet Union after it collapsed. The movie “Vodka Lemon” shows the poverty and desperation that resulted.
Ironically, as the book shows, those who remain are uniformly hostile to any perceived “exploitation” by outsiders. This misplaced zeal has defeated numerous entrepreneurs and investors who wanted to help.
Ironically, the author strains to have the book end on a hopeful note, even though it seems unjustified. Maybe the publisher wanted it to end that way to boost sales.
I would like to go there and see it for myself. It has raised my curiosity. Is it really that bad?

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One Comment
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