Pulitzer-Prize winner David Maraniss will be at the Grosse Pointe War Memomorial Auditorium (32 Lake Shore Rd, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236) on Thursday, June 2 from 7:00-8:30pm to sign and discuss his most recent book, Once In A Great City: A Detroit Story. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register visit the Grosse Pointe Public library website here. Books will be available for sale at the event courtesy of Book Beat. For more information, contact the Grosse Pointe Public Library (313) 821-8830. To reserve copies of the book in advance, please call Book Beat (248) 968-1190.
“[A] glimmering portrait of Detroit . . . that will leave the reader thoroughly haunted. . . . Once in a Great City has it all: significant scenes, tremendously charismatic figures, even a starry soundtrack. . . . Reading about the city in its hey day is like falling backward in time and running into someone whose youthful blush you’d completely forgotten. Detroit is that someone. She is bright and laughing, flickering before you like a specter from the past. I doubt I’ll forget her anytime soon.” –Bookpage
Named A Best Book of 2015 by The Economist
It’s 1963 and Detroit is on top of the world. The city’s leaders are among the most visionary in America: Grandson of the first Ford; Henry Ford II; influential labor leader Walter Reuther; Motown’s founder Berry Gordy; the Reverend C.L. Franklin and his daughter, the amazing Aretha; Governor George Romney, Mormon and Civil Rights advocate; super car salesman Lee Iacocca; Mayor Jerome Cavanagh, a Kennedy acolyte; Police Commissioner George Edwards; Martin Luther King. It was the American auto makers’ best year; the revolution in music and politics was underway. Reuther’s UAW had helped lift the middle class.
Once in a Great City shows that the shadows of collapse were evident even then. Before the devastating riot. Before the decades of civic corruption and neglect, and white flight. Before people trotted out the grab bag of rust belt infirmities—from harsh weather to high labor costs—and competition from abroad to explain Detroit’s collapse, one could see the signs of a city’s ruin. Detroit at its peak was threatened by its own design. It was being abandoned by the new world. Yet so much of what Detroit gave America lasts.
“David Maraniss is a journalist’s journalist. . . . the book explores the optimism that existed in those days and the signs of major problems to come. It’s a fascinating political, racial, economic and cultural tapestry.” –Detroit Free Press
Born in Detroit, David Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post. Maraniss is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author of Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story; First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton; Rome 1960: The Olympics that Stirred the World; Barack Obama: The Story; Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero; They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967; and When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi, which was hailed by Sports Illustrated as “maybe the best sports biography ever published.” He lives in Washington, DC, and Madison, Wisconsin. Visit his website here.