From thriving Motor City to the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history, Detroit has become the nation's cautionary tale. But what led to the fateful day of the filing, and how did the city survive this crisis?
Journalist Nathan Bomey delivers the inside story of Detroit's decline and the people who fought to save it against impossible odds: Governor Rick Snyder, a self-proclaimed nerd; emergency manager Kevyn Orr, a lawyer with singular dedication; Judge Steven Rhodes, the city's conscience; and retirees who fought to ensure that Detroit kept its promises. In a tightly reported narrative, Bomey reveals the tricky path to the grand bargain that would determine the fate of pensioners, city services, and the world-class Detroit Institute of Arts, which faced the threat of liquidation. Detroit Resurrected offers a sweeping account of financial ruin, backroom intrigue, and political rebirth in the struggle to reinvent one of America's great cities.
©2016 Nathan Bomey (P)2016 Tantor
"An engaging reconstruction of Detroit's financial crisis and the broader implications of its comeback for other American cities." (Kirkus)
I'm from Chicago and know all too well about the numbers of inner city crime in our city so that wasn't as appalling (although I am from the north side so I don't know it that we'll) but from an outsiders perspective, how the city got to the point of bankruptcy was spelling out thoroughly. Many people outside of Michigan don't know how Kwame kilpatrick is, but they don't know about how it was already struggling. The information about 40% of lights working and details about how people just stopped paying real estate taxes by the masses and no public transportation or city work was foreign to me. The idea of not being able to pay back pensions is relatable to Chicagos. I thought the great part of about it was it highlighted all the options the appointees investigated to resolve the issue. Again, I am not from Detroit so I don't know the accuracy or have a bias opinion, but as a story and overall structure of the issues and resolutions to the bankruptcy, it was very well laid out and written.
Though the details of this story we dizzying, to know the players and ploys used to initiate this historical turn around of such an iconic city, is intriguing.
I loved every minute of this. It's not for everyone. This is the most clear, cogent telling (neatly wrapped in a listenable story) of where big swaths of our national (and global) economies are finding themselves. The 20th century boom wave (with all its joyful narratives) is receding folks, but new shoots are coming up. Clear the ground. Some of my summer studies are focused on bankruptcy and various financial restructurings, and between the technical book readings, this is like wonderful beach reading for me.
Among many well-described characters, my two favorites are Kevyn Orr, Detroit emergency manager (many family members of mine are named Orr, so it is a thrill to see such an able and admirable man bearing the name) and a corporate character -- Syncora. Syncora, a financial firm, facilitated the funding of many of the city's earlier doings (including pensions, the payees of which were treated so much better than it was, or at least, relatively less bad). But as circumstances turned, it found itself cast as a villain in the piece, as if threatening to take civic art and pension money from the mouths of innocent babes (I'm purposely mixing metaphors) to sate its Wall Street hunger (so goes the popular myth). I found its attorneys' plight and arguments most interesting, standing against the (to indulge more cartoonish imagery) popular mobs waving torches and pitchforks, so to speak. But this is the USA, and even conflict is done better here than in so many places. It was all battle as argument in the auspices of courtrooms. Slow and boring, I know, but God bless America! And that is the beauty of this piece, the structuring of real life of multitudes in a principled peaceful setting, that is the triumph of our system. It is more a symphony to my ears (discordant at moments as it is) than any typical music, or even fine art (once my major in an era past), which interest me infinitely less, nowadays.
We will have to revisit and further extend this sort of activity, this finest of all arts, as the 20th century's political economy begins its final fragmentation and the future hoves into view. And these events will arrive willy-nilly. We'd best be ready.
A last thought: thinking of the "hastily made tourism video" and its ilk "celebrating" Cleveland ("at least it's not Detroit," etc.): Well, Detroit and its people showed an amazing side here. We have a future to build. Some things need to be moved around. Here's a template. Finance, people, art, the whole pie is here.
No. There is dead air until 10 minutes into the audiobook, and it starts in the middle of some random passage. There is an error in the audiofile.
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