We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Detroit: An American Autopsy | [Charlie LeDuff]

Detroit: An American Autopsy

In the heart of America, a metropolis is quietly destroying itself. Detroit, once the richest city in the nation, is now its poorest. Once the vanguard of America’s machine age - mass production, automobiles, and blue-collar jobs - Detroit is now America’s capital for unemployment, illiteracy, foreclosure, and dropouts. With the steel-eyed reportage that has become his trademark and the righteous indignation that only a native son can possess, journalist Charlie LeDuff sets out to uncover what has brought low this once-vibrant city, his city.
Regular Price:$20.97
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

In the heart of America, a metropolis is quietly destroying itself. Detroit, once the richest city in the nation, is now its poorest. Once the vanguard of America’s machine age - mass production, automobiles, and blue-collar jobs - Detroit is now America’s capital for unemployment, illiteracy, foreclosure, and dropouts.

With the steel-eyed reportage that has become his trademark and the righteous indignation that only a native son can possess, journalist Charlie LeDuff sets out to uncover what has brought low this once-vibrant city, his city. In doing so, he uncovers the deeply human drama of a city filled with some of the strongest and strangest people our country has to offer.

©2013 Charlie LeDuff (P)2013 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Full of both literary grace and hard-won world-weariness...Iggy Pop meets Jim Carroll and Charles Bukowski." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (396 )
5 star
 (155)
4 star
 (150)
3 star
 (70)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.1 (353 )
5 star
 (148)
4 star
 (119)
3 star
 (60)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (7)
Story
4.3 (352 )
5 star
 (166)
4 star
 (127)
3 star
 (44)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Homebound Charlotte, NC, United States 06-17-13
    Homebound Charlotte, NC, United States 06-17-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Harrowing"

    A wringing account of the demise of Detroit. Almost mind-numbing in its dark detail, but impossible to put down. Not for those with delicate ears. Heavy with the actual profanity of modern-day Detroit.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Dowling West Palm Beach, FL USA 06-10-13
    Mike Dowling West Palm Beach, FL USA 06-10-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling true crime story and very dark comedy"
    What made the experience of listening to Detroit the most enjoyable?

    The narrator captured the voice of Charlie LeDuff. Sad a world weary in a shocking world of corruption and incompetence.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Monica Conyers seemed like a bad character on a late night comedy show. I had to go to YouTube to confirm that outrageous stories in the book.


    Have you listened to any of Eric Martin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Without giving the plot away, I will say that if this were a novel, I would have thrown it away because it is impossible to believe that any story could be this sad. Just when you think it can't get any worse, it get much, much worse.


    Any additional comments?

    Charlie McDuff tells parallel stories of life in Detroit, the history of the city and his own family and friends. I listened through in a few days.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 06-08-13
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 06-08-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    641
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    471
    363
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    264
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "through one lens"

    I enjoyed listening to this book, but I think it was more about Charles LeDuff and his family, than the city of Detroit.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex Sunnyvale, CA, United States 05-24-13
    Alex Sunnyvale, CA, United States 05-24-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptional"
    What would have made Detroit better?

    Perhaps a website that showed the places and the characters would have the story easier to follow.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Eric Martin’s performances?

    Yes


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Detroit?

    I would have shorted his personal history.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elton Los angeles, CA, United States 06-09-13
    Elton Los angeles, CA, United States 06-09-13 Member Since 2004

    I teach Business, Economics, and English at a university in Tokyo. My interests are in politics, economics, and philosophy. I hold a BA in English Literature, and an MA in Political Science.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    185
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    348
    28
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dystopia Defined"

    It is frustrating when a fascinating topic falls into the hands of an incapable writer. LeDuff's clunky writing style with horribly placed similes, disjointed narrative, and poor choice of main characters make this a really tough read.
    First, LeDuff uses similes that seem picked at random from a quote book with little thought as to their appropriateness and or clarity. As the reader fumbled over these literary gaffs you think, gosh, where was the editor. It is only downhill from there.
    Trying to follow the narrative of the story is worse and you come out feeling there was no editor. LeDuff skips around, sprinkling in autobiographical details here and there, then finally decides to tell his autobiography at the end of the book. It's like the publisher came back and said you need another twenty pages and he decided to go ahead and fill it with his story. The details of the book are told in a head spinning back and forth manner that epitomizes the poor edit quality. Is the book about the mayor, city council, firefighters, factories, or what? He is too scared to even delve into the real economics of the collapse of Detroit's car industry.
    Detroit is full of stories and angles to tell of its downfall, but the choice of firefighters was a poor one. He chooses to tell the story from the view of how the fire departments are run down and the role corruption has played in that, but by focusing on the fire department the true causes for Detroit's collapse are left unanswered.
    LeDuff spends too much time on insignificant details he himself claims were not root causes, only symptoms. He ignores the important work that needs to be done on this topic. Namely, how both private and public sector wealth is being squandered and the middle class is left to pay the social and economic price.
    I would give this book a pass. Find an author with a socio-economic I.Q.

    13 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Bauer Madison, WI 10-14-14
    Rachel Bauer Madison, WI 10-14-14 Member Since 2012

    Founder of Prevention As A Cure & Social Entrepreneur

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    96
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well written and depressingly real"
    What did you love best about Detroit?

    It is written in story format so you can really get a sense of events and people involved.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This book is a brutal wake up call about how bad things really got in Detroit. I am a Michigan native but it would have been equally disheartening to hear about such a reality in any city.


    Any additional comments?

    I am glad I gave this book a listen but I had to choose something very upbeat and positive after this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Moore III Truckee, CA United States 07-12-14
    T. Moore III Truckee, CA United States 07-12-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not A Autopsy/Cause of Death"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    One conducts an autopsy to discover or to confirm the cause of death. Unfortunately Mr. LeDuff discusses some, but by no means all, of the diseases that Detroit was exposed to but does not promote a cause of death.

    I chose to listen to "Detroit: An American Autopsy" as I was hoping to learn about the interplay between unions, corporate America, and race relations in causing Detroit's downfall with a particular look into the economics. Unfortunately I knew in the preface when he said that his autopsy was rather memoir of Detroit that Mr. LeDuff's subtitle has misled me.

    As a memoir of Detroit, Mr. Leduff's story is four or five stars. As the titled autopsy
    Detroit: An American Autopsy struggles to be a three.

    As titled, I would not recommend it to a friend. As titled, I would like to get a refund on my purchase.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Thank gahd I am done listening to LeDuff's vendetta and whining.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Livonia, MI, United States 04-09-14
    Bill Livonia, MI, United States 04-09-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Detroit still sucks."

    I recently listened to Detroit by Charlie LeDuff. Don't know what I expected, but he just confirmed what I'd nearly always known...Detroit and a significant segment of the citizenry there, are shithole and shit respectively.
    I've lived in the suburbs of Detroit all my life. I hoped there would be at least something to grab onto that was decent...nope.

    Book was filled with drear, depressing and wish I hadn't listened to it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mario 01-16-14
    Mario 01-16-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent real view of Detroit with story lines"
    Would you listen to Detroit again? Why?

    To pick up some additional information I may have missed. The way regular people live is such a sad, but interestingly strange place that nobody ever talks about. Makes you really think about what's going on in our own country.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NDFletch 01-02-14
    NDFletch 01-02-14

    ndfletcher

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gritty and authentic, just like Detroit"
    Any additional comments?

    LeDuff's narrative of the Motor City squalor is gritty and authentic. The city IS a mess and he pulls no punches. He weaves the city's story with his family's history and demons artfully, albeit with blue collar language and coarseness that makes the book unsuitable for younger readers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.