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Detroit: A Biography Hardcover – April 1, 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Scott Martelle has the rare ability to bring alive a patch of history from several hundred years ago as skillfully as he does a present-day Detroiter in his living room. This is an extraordinary riches-to-rags story that raises big questions for national policy."  —Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918

“The world can learn much from this bittersweet history of urban grit and strength that has now become a 21st-century symbol for industry, loss, and renewal.” —M. L. Liebler, award-winning Detroit poet and editor of Working Words: Punching the Clock and Kicking Out the Jams


“Detroit has played a crucial role in American urban, industrial, and ethnic history, today it is central to any discussion of the future of the nation's cities.  Scott Martelle has done a wonderful job of capturing the essence of Detroit from its early history on the Western Frontier to "Motor City" to today's urban crisis.” —Dominic A. Pacyga, author of Chicago: A Biography

"[Detroit] offers an informative albeit depressing glimpse of the workings of a once-great city that is now a shell of its former self."—Publishers Weekly

"[Martelle's] unsentimental assessment is rich with cold, hard facts about those responsible for what Detroit became and what it is today." —Booklist

"A valuable biography sure to appeal to readers seeking to come to grips with important problems facing not just a city, but a country." —Kirkus

"While the book focuses on Detroit, readers everywhere will find his analysis useful in understanding what many cities are experiencing."  —Solidarity

"[Detroit] offers an engaging, provocative introduction."  —Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Scott Martelle, the author of The Fear Within and Blood Passion, is a veteran journalist and former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit News, whose work has also appeared in the Washington Post, Sierra magazine, and other outlets.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; First Edition edition (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156976526X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569765265
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #771,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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on May 20, 2012
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