Author Scott Martelle will be giving a presentation at The Book Beat (26010 Greenfield Rd. Oak Park MI 48237) on Thursday April 5th from 7pm-8pm for his new title Detroit: A Biography. Joining him in conversation about the book will be M.L. Liebler.
Craig Fahle’s WDET interview with Scott Martelle on his new book.
Detroit: A Biography takes a long, unflinching look at the evolution of one of America’s great cities, and one of the nation’s greatest urban failures. It tells how the city grew to become the heart of American industry and how its utter collapse—from 1.8 million residents in 1950 to 714,000 only six decades later—resulted from a confluence of public policies, private industry decisions, and deep, thick seams of racism. And it raises the question: when we look at modern-day Detroit, are we looking at the ghost of America’s industrial past or its future?
“A valuable biography sure to appeal to readers seeking to come to grips with important problems facing not just a city, but a country.” – Kirkus
“Detroit has played a crucial role in American urban, industrial, and ethnic history, today it is central to any discussion of the future of the nation’s cities. Scott Martelle has done a wonderful job of capturing the essence of Detroit from its early history on the Western Frontier to “Motor City” to today’s urban crisis.” – Dominic A. Pacyga, author of Chicago: A Biography
“[Detroit] offers an informative albeit depressing glimpse of the workings of a once-great city that is now a shell of its former self.” – Publishers Weekly
“This unsentimental assessment is rich with cold, hard facts about those responsible for what Detroit became and what it is today” – Booklist
Scott Martelle, a third-generation journalist, was born in Scarborough, Maine, and grew up there and in Wellsville, New York, about two hours south of Buffalo. His first newspaper job came at age 16, writing a high school sports column for the Wellsville Patriot, a weekly (defunct), then covering local news part-time for the Wellsville Daily Reporter. After attending Fredonia State, where he was editor of The Leader newspaper and news director for WCVF campus radio, he worked in succession for the Jamestown Post-Journal, Rochester Times-Union (defunct), The Detroit News and the Los Angeles Times, where he has covered presidential campaigns, books, local news and features, including several Sunday magazine pieces. Freelance work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review (books in brief), Buffalo News, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Teaching Tolerance (Southern Poverty Law Center), Solidarity (United Auto Workers) and elsewhere. He also speaks occasionally at school and college classes about journalism, politics and writing.