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Very insightful for a guy who lived near Detroit throughout this time 1980s but really had only a vague, distant idea of what was going on Ze ev got to talk with just about anyone he wanted Lots of good lessons here. I strongly debated whether to give this book one star or no stars at all I figured the author deserved one star for getting me to spend money on this book which I will never get back and actually read it.I thought the book was going to be about the history and background of Devil s Night in Detroit and other stories that would be a behind the scenes look of the rich tradition of Detroit I was looking forward to having a new love for Detroit after reading some interesting stories This book failed on all counts Not only is it poorly written, but each chapter is very disjointed and the author does such a miserable job of providing detail and emotion It feels like I m reading a boring academic journal or history book I found my mind constantly wandering and I was completely disinterested after the first chapter.It really is my fault that I wasted so much time reading this book I just kept hoping it was going to get better I should have known from the foreword or author s note in the beginning how bad the book was going to be It is a Jewish author that was born in Pontiac not Detroit then moved to Australia at 18 then came back for a year or so to hang out in Detroit and had one black friend So now he s an expert on Detroit As if that was not enough, the author says that he did not always take exact quotes but he assures the reader that the dialogue in the book is to the best of his memory and completely captures the meaning of the discussion Yeah, ok, sure This book is a complete waste of time and I will never read anything else by this author again. I found this after a search Detroit recently declared bankruptcy Not unprecedented fo a city, but this is a large one Further the name, Dave Bing spurred my curiosity, for besides being the city s mayor, he was a basketball great whom I enjoyed watching Told by a journalist who grew up in the area until the late sixties, this is a descriptive analysis of the city, not a sociological analysis It begins with Devil s Night the annual event that has kicked off Detroit s Halloween season since 1982 It can best be described as recreational arson No, not simple bonfires, but homes and businesses are torched to the glee of participants and spectators Through interviews with Whites who left the city for the suburbs after the deadly riots of 1968, Blacks who remain, Arabs who own many of the businesses in the city and its former mayor, Coleman Young, we get a picture of a dying city where many values have been cast aside Detroit is the murder capital of the world among other dubious distinctions This book was written in 1990, and much has happened since Coleman Young died in 1994 but not before leaving an imprint showing the effects of his rule that can be described as hardline pro black Some say anti everything else Many businesses who could bring wealth into Detroit have left Arabs and others who operate small businesses are strongly persecuted against Today we see a once great city and its suburbs that is strongly polarized along racial lines, if we are to believe what we read and see in the media I tend not to believe all I read I also know people who have recently resided in Detroit who will say that life there is not all bad The decline of the auto industry had something to do with the sorry state of affairs there Nevertheless, I must ask if Detroit is the harbinger of what other cities in the United States will become Finally, I can say fairly comfortably that doing things, especially governing and leading while looking at things through a narrow angle lens, a lens such as race alone, is not desirable.I found the book to be very interesting fast paced and flowing with good descriptions and interesting interviews Again, this is not a sociological analysis, but a reporter s observation Good writing that reads like a novel. This book was fascinating it definitely addressed a lot of the political climate I didn t know about in the late 80 s and early 90 s, as well as some of the interesting characteristics and political tendencies of Coleman Young I did have a problem with this book though, and that was the author s treatment of the friction between the suburbs and Detroit while reporting very scarcely on what was happening in some of the smaller suburbs during that time Apart from actually spending time IN Grosse Pointe, Southfield, Melvindale, etc there was really only brief mention of places like Bloomfield Hills West Bloomfield The only moment when Chafets really ventures into the northwestern suburbs is during a particularly dark trip to Livingston County for a KKK rally My experience of Metro Detroit in the early 90 s happened during a very rapid development of the burbs new shopping centers and huge subdivisions right and left where acres of woods and dirt roads had been before At the same time, I recall my school district being one of the most racially diverse in the area, because students came from many different corners of the area Walled Lake, Novi, Wixom, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Farmington Hills, Southfield, and in some cases, Detroit From the time I began school, I had classmates from every race and background, and there was almost never any animosity because of this I know that my experience is particularly unique, but perhaps Chafets could have sought out areas with a similar demographic It would have painted a ambiguous portrait of what was happening to Detroit at the time, rather than concentrating on the continued divide between the north and south sides of Eight Mile. [ Read Epub ] ☪ Devil's Night: And Other True Tales of Detroit ⚇ On The Night Before Halloween, Detroit Explodes In Flame The Local Citizens Call That Evening Devil S Night Tourists, Sociologists And Even Some Visiting Firefighters Gather To Witness This Outpouring Of Urban Frustration When Houses, Abandoned Buildings And Unused Factories Burn To The Ground In An Orgy Of ArsonIn Capturing Devil S Night And Other Troubling Motown Movements, Ze Ev Cha Fets Hailed As A S De Tocqueville By The New York Times Returns To The City Of His Youth In The Early S Detroit Seemed Like The Model American City Industry Was Booming As Both Blacks And Whites Found Steady Work In The Auto Industry But In The Worst Race Riot In American History Erupted Overnight, Detroit Was Violently Jerked From An Existence As A Prosperous, Integrated Industrial Center To That Of A Chaotic, Seething Ghetto Chafets Goes Back To The City Where He Grew Up And Learned The Facts Of Life, A City Where His Strongest Friendship Was An Unlikely One With A Fatherless Black Teenager From The Ghetto A City Where Reality Set In Early When Chafets S Own Grandfather Was Killed In A HoldupChafets Leads Us Through The Wilderness Of The Distinct Subcultures Of Contemporary Detroit He Meets The Black Intelligentsia Who View Their Independent State As Progress For Black America He Spends Time With Cops Whose Conflicting Attitudes Of Pride In Their Work And Bitterness At Their City S Staggering Crime Rate Lead To Frustration He Explores The Growing Sects In The Muslim And Christian Communities That Provide Ecstatic, Religious Escape He Talks To Whites From The Segregated Suburbs To Find Out Why They Fled And About The Roots Of Their Continuous Antagonism And He Converses With Mayor Coleman Young, Who, Despite The Abysmal Social And Financial Conditions Of His City, Is Convinced He Is Leading Detroit And Its Black Populace To A Better And Brighter FuturePoignant, Perceptive, And At Times Hilariously Funny, Devil S Night And Other True Tales Of Detroit Gives An Unprecedented Look At What Ze Ev Chafets Calls America S First Third World City
A well done accounting of how and why Detroit had become the third world city that it was in 1988 Fashioned through interviews with people living in the differing ethnic areas and with the politicians that run the cities and townships that make up Detroit area Author does a fine job of detailing the racial divides and why the city is divided along such defined racial lines.This book helped to give me some perspective of the struggle that the city and it s people have gone through historically and, in a lot of ways, still struggle with to this day.Author also gives his account of growing up in the area and adds a nice touch of a relationship that he cultivated, lost and regained over the course of growing up, moving away and coming back to document what Detroit had become Also, if you want to see and read about the issues that citizens still struggle with there is a great website at www.detroityes.com Lots of pictures, links, forums and news It s not just advertisement Though there is evidence of a city that celebrates its strengths and its history, there s also a ton of evidence in pictures of the crumbling city that Detroit still is. After a few years living in Michigan, I got curious about Detroit and started picking up books about the city at the library This is a great snapshot of Detroit in the late eighties with plenty of historical and cultural background to help people, like me, who didn t grow up in the area It captures suburban urban relations well, and portrays both sides critically and empathetically although I think it s hard not to come out rooting for Detroit given the underdog status The latter half of the books spends a lot of time on the former mayor Coleman Young, who makes for great material The man was charismatic, outspoken, and unyielding I ll be picking up his autobiography soon Ze ev, born near Detroit not in it, and having spent decades away from the country before returning to write the book, is definitely an outsider providing an outsider s perspective so this isn t a great book for someone looking for an insider s view of Detroit That said, it s an engaging, casual introduction to the city culture and politics. Well written, even handed description of What Is Wrong with Detroit Some chapters are a little cultural touristy, others a little sentimental, and the information is only current through the 1989 mayoral election That said, history is history, and this book should be required reading in every high school in metro Detroit As a native Grosse Pointer, I m a little ashamed that some of the content of this book was news to me in my mid twenties The author grew up in Pontiac and approaches the tensions in Detroit racial, economic, cultural as both an outsider and an insider he has the sophistication of a writer anthropologist, but the diligence of his study is fueled by the fierce loyalty of a man trying to understand and protect his childhood home His perspective is authentically suburban, and he takes this unique opportunity to ask the questions we all want to ask of the people who should have had the best answers. Very interesting to read this book two months after the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy in July It s set almost 25 years ago and the plight of the city has continued much the same for even longer.This quote sums up the thoughts that ran through my mind as I read the book and still applies today The 1989 mayoral campaign posed serious ideological questions that went far beyond the specifics of Detroit What is the root cause of the desperate condition of African America black irresponsibility or white racism What is the best way for African Americans to progress self rule or a junior partnership with whites Is defiant struggle merely an evolutionary step toward inclusion in the broader American polity or is itthe best that blacks can hope for in the United States In a very real sense, the election in Detroit was a referendum on the contemporary black interpretation of reality p 229 Zev Chafets is one of our most eclectic contemporary authors whose observations are insightful and laced with humor I have long enjoyed his books which range from this one to a biography of Rush Limbaugh and then to a drive he took in search of American Jews in farflung places A native of Detroit and its environs, Mr Chafets returned there after a long sojourn in Israel to try and understand what had become of his beloved city In addition, he had been very close with an African American friend in his youth and wished to see if he could find him This friendship, in a certain way, shows the complications and yes joys of friendship between whites and blacks.This is not a diatribe against Detroit nor does it exaggerate its sorry state As always, Mr Chafets is even handed, humorous and humble.