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Detroit : A Biography



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Chicago Review Press
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At its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, Detroit's status as epicenter of the American auto industry made it a vibrant, populous, commercial hub--and then the bottom fell out. Detroit : A Biographytakes a long, unflinching look at the evolution of one of America's great cities, and one of the nation's greatest urban failures. This authoritative yet accessible narrative seeks to explain how the city grew to become the heart of American industry and how its utter collapse--from nearly two million residents in 1950 to less than 715,000 some six decades later--resulted from a confluence of public policies, private industry decisions, and deeply ingrained racism. Drawing from U.S. Census data and including profiles of individuals who embody the recent struggles and hopes of the city, this book chronicles the evolution of what a modern city once was and what it has become.

Author Biography

Scott Martelle is a professional journalist who has written for the Detroit News, the Los Angeles Times, and the Rochester Times-Union. His previous books include Blood Passion and The Fear Within. He lives in Irvine, California.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
A Difficult Childhoodp. 1
The British Decadesp. 9
The Moransp. 19
Detroit and the Canal of Richesp. 25
The Civil War and Racial Flashpointsp. 35
Detroit Turns Industrialp. 53
Michael Farrellp. 63
The Auto Erap. 69
A Great Migrationp. 85
The Roaring Twentiesp. 95
Great Depressionp. 113
The Black Legionp. 127
Housing and the Racial Dividep. 133
The War Yearsp. 139
The 1943 Riotp. 147
The Postwar Boomp. 159
Race in the Fiftiesp. 171
Henry Russell Jr.p. 181
Death of the Covenantsp. 187
The Baloksp. 199
The Oil Embargop. 205
John Thompsonp. 215
When the Jobs Go Awayp. 225
Shelleyp. 237
Pittsburgh, a Different Casep. 243
An Epiloguep. 251
Acknowledgmentsp. 259
Selected Bibliographyp. 261
Notesp. 267
Indexp. 281
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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