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Detroit’s Problems, Detroit’s Future

Forbes Magazine calls Detroit “America’s Most Miserable City.” What do you do with a city like that? We’re asking Detroiter Charlie LeDuff.

This Oct. 24, 2012, photo shows an empty field north of Detroit's downtown. (AP)

This Oct. 24, 2012, photo shows an empty field north of Detroit’s downtown. (AP)

News flash from Forbes Magazine. Their big new list is out, and the 2013 title of “Most Miserable City in America” goes to … Detroit.

That is hardly a shocker. America’s Motor City has had a long bust. It’s got three times the poverty rate of the country. A gutted, ghostly skeleton of its once-proud self, where people talk about turning city neighborhoods into pastureland.

Detroiter Charlie LeDuff says don’t laugh. You’re next. We’re all going down. Detroiter, preacher, David Alexander Bullock says Motown is coming back.

This hour, On Point: we’re reading the bones of Detroit.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Charlie LeDuff, Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter, author of “Detroit: An American Autopsy.” (@charlieleduff)

David Alexander Bullock, Reverend at the Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church in Detroit, president of the Detroit chapter of the Rainbow-Push Coalition.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Detroit is one of those taxing places that require you to have an opinion about them. This opinion expresses no mere preference. It amounts to a stance, from which may be inferred your electoral leanings, your racial politics, your union sympathies and the general sunniness of your disposition. The entire city signifies. It can get tiring.”

The Detroit News “City leaders began a last-ditch attempt Wednesday to stave off an emergency manager for the state’s largest city a day after a review team unanimously found a financial crisis exists and urged Gov. Rick Snyder to intervene.”

Excerpt: “Detroit: An American Autopsy”

Excerpted from DETROIT by Charlie LeDuff.  Reprinted by arrangement with The Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. Copyright (c) Charlie LeDuff, 2013.

Charle LeDuff Golfs Across Detroit

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