“One cannot read Mr. LeDuff's amalgam of memoir and reportage and not be shaken by the cold eye he casts on hard truths . . . A little gonzo, a little gumshoe, some gawker, some good-Samaritan—it is hard to ignore reporting like Mr. LeDuff's.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Pultizer-Prize-winning journalist LeDuff . . . writes with honesty and compassion about a city that’s destroying itself–and breaking his heart.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A book full of both literary grace and hard-won world-weariness.” —Kirkus
Back in his broken hometown, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie LeDuff searches the ruins of Detroit for clues to his family’s troubled past. Having led us on the way up, Detroit now seems to be leading us on the way down. Once the richest city in America, Detroit is now the nation’s poorest. Once the vanguard of America’s machine age—mass-production, blue-collar jobs, and automobiles—Detroit is now America’s capital for unemployment, illiteracy, dropouts, and foreclosures. With the steel-eyed reportage that has become his trademark, and the righteous indignation only a native son possesses, LeDuff sets out to uncover what destroyed his city. He beats on the doors of union bosses and homeless squatters, powerful businessmen and struggling homeowners and the ordinary people holding the city together by sheer determination. Detroit: An American Autopsy is an unbelievable story of a hard town in a rough time filled with some of the strangest and strongest people our country has to offer.