Saturday, February 22, 2014

Why the collapse of Detroit matters

Jane Jacobs, writing about the life and death of cities, reminds us that people living in vigorous cultures typically treasure those cultures and resist any threat to them. So how and why, she wonders, can a people so totally discard a formerly vital culture, so that it becomes virtually lost.

The city of Detroit was such a culture. Once the heartland of industrial America, now it sits as an urban corpse. What does it say about America, about Detroit, but more importantly about the people that built it and watched it crumble?

Few understand Detroit better than reporter Charlie LeDuff, whose Detroit: An American Autopsy is a cautionary tale for cities everywhere.

My conversation with Charlie LeDuff

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