Award-winning author David Maraniss will be in the area for Everyone’s Reading with his book, Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story. He will be at The Community House in Birmingham on Monday, May 22nd at 7 PM. He will be at Congregation Shaarey Zedek on Tuesday, May 23rd at 7 PM. Both events are free, but registration is required. To register, please contact your local participating library. A list of participating libraries can be found here. Book Beat will be selling books for the event. If you would like to reserve a copy of any of his books, please call Book Beat at (248) 968-1190.
“A fascinating political, racial, economic, and cultural tapestry” (Detroit Free Press), a tour de force from David Maraniss about the quintessential American city at the top of its game: Detroit in 1963.
Detroit in 1963 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; Motown’s founder Berry Gordy; the Reverend C.L. Franklin and his daughter, the incredible Aretha; Governor George Romney, Mormon and Civil Rights advocate; car salesman Lee Iacocca; Police Commissioner George Edwards; Martin Luther King. The time was full of promise. The auto industry was selling more cars than ever before. Yet the shadows of collapse were evident even then.
“Elegiac and richly detailed” (The New York Times), in Once in a Great City David Maraniss shows that 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 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 economy and by the transfer of American prosperity to the information and service industries. In 1963, as Maraniss captures it with power and affection, Detroit summed up America’s path to prosperity and jazz that was already past history. “Maraniss has written a book about the fall of Detroit, and done it, ingeniously, by writing about Detroit at its height….An encyclopedic account of Detroit in the early sixties, a kind of hymn to what really was a great city” (The New Yorker).
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 an associate editor at The Washington Post. In addition to Once in A Great City: A Detroit Story, Maraniss is the author of six critically acclaimed and bestselling books: Barack Obama: The Story; When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi; First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton; They Marched Into Sunlight – War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967; Clemente – The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero; and Rome 1960: The Summer Olympics That Stirred the World. He is also the author of Into the Story: A Writer’s Journey Through Life, Politics, Sports and Loss, The Clinton Enigma and coauthor of The Prince of Tennessee: Al Gore Meets His Fate and “Tell Newt to Shut Up!”
David is a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and won the Pulitzer for national reporting in 1993 for his newspaper coverage of then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton. He also was part of The Washington Post team that won a 2008 Pulitzer for the newspaper’s coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting. He has won several other notable awards for achievements in journalism, including the George Polk Award, the Dirksen Prize for Congressional Reporting, the ASNE Laventhol Prize for Deadline Writing, the Hancock Prize for Financial Writing, the Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Frankfort Book Prize, the Eagleton Book Prize, the Ambassador Book Prize, and Latino Book Prize.