Publicity Spotlight:

Books on the Motor City: A Reading List for the Detroit Premiere


Detroit 67

On Friday August 4, the much anticipated Detroit, directed by Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker), premiers nationwide. The film dramatizes the city’s 1967 riots, offering a gut-wrenching take on historic racial violence and drawing attention to its continuance in modern-day America. While researching for the film, its creators were particularly drawn to Stuart Cosgrove’s Detroit 67 (Polygon, an imprint of Birlinn, Ltd.)—a story of Motown, Soul, and other iconic Black music styles and acts set against the backdrop of the ’67 riots, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Vietnam War. In anticipation of the premiere and in celebration of Cosgrove’s contribution, we’ve rounded up a handful of our other favorite Detroit-focused titles:



A Detroit Anthology
A Detroit Anthology

A Detroit Anthology (Belt Publishing)

"What these writers share, despite their differences of age, race, gender, and temperament, is the understanding that one has to know Detroit's history before even beginning to imagine how the city might move forward." —The Daily Beast

A unique perspective of the Motor City, this anthology combines stories told by both longtime residents and newcomers from activists to teachers to artists to students. While Detroit has always been rich in stories, too often those stories are told back to the city by outsiders looking in, believing they can explain Detroit back to itself. As editor, Anna Clark writes in the introduction, “These are the stories we tell each other over late nights at the pub and long afternoons on the porch. We share them in coffee shops, at church social hours, in living rooms, and while waiting for the bus. […] You will not find 'positive' stories about Detroit in this collection, or 'negative' ones. But you will find true stories."



Detroit: A Biography
Detroit: A Biography

Detroit: A Biography (Chicago Review Press)

"[Martelle's] unsentimental assessment is rich with cold, hard facts about those responsible for what Detroit became and what it is today." ”—Booklist

Martelle 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?



The Detroit Neighborhood Guide
The Detroit Neighborhood Guide

The Detroit Neighborhood Guide (Belt Publishing)

It seems like everybody thinks they know about the city’s neighborhoods, but because there are so many, the definitions become too broad, the characteristics become muddled, the stories become lost. Edited by Aaron Foley, The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook contains essays by Zoe Villegas, Drew Philip, Hakeem Weatherspoon, Marsha Music, Ian Thibodeau, and dozens of others.



Detroit: Then and Now
Detroit: Then and Now

Detroit: Then and Now (Pavilion)

This book is a fascinating document of history and change in one of the United States' most important cities—a vivid portrait of a city bouncing back from economic recession. Sites include Woodward Avenue, Detroit Waterfront ,Campus Martius, Jefferson Avenue, Cadillac Square, Capitol Park, J.L. Hudson Company, City Hall, Wayne County Building, Grand Circus Park, Michigan Theater, Capitol Theater, Fox Theatre, YMCA Building, Detroit Athletic Club, Eastern Mark, Elmwood Cemetery, Belle Isle Casino, Scott Fountain, Palmer Park, Hurlbut Memorial Gate, Cass Tech, Tiger Stadium, Wagner Baking Co., Michigan Central Railroad, Ambassador Bridge, Orchestra Hall, Piety Hill, Detroit Public Library, the General Motors Building, and much more.



Lost Detroit
Lost Detroit

Lost Detroit (Pavilion)

Contains 68 different losses from 1889 up to the present day, including schools, churches, theaters, clubhouses, parks, stores, hotels, offices, and factories. Organized chronologically, starting with the earliest losses and ending with the latest, the book features much-loved Detroit institutions that failed to stand the test of time. Sites include Detroit Boat Club, Belle Isle Casino, Pontchartrain Hotel, Hotel Cadillac, Electric Park, Detroit House of Corrections, Federal Building, Temple Theatre, the Tashmoo, Hammond Building, Packard Car Company, Detroit Museum of Art, Waterworks Park, City Hall, Hudson Motor Co, Ford Rotunda, the Opera House, Kerns department store, Union Station, Grace Hospital, Dodge factory, Convention Hall, Olympia Stadium, Michigan Central Railroad, the Tuller Hotel, and many more.


Read reviews of Detroit the film in Variety and The New York Times.

Aug
20
Sunday
IPG will be attending New York Now: Future Market in New York, NY on August 20 - 23,...
Sep
02
Saturday, 12:00pm
Donna Morton, author of "Seeking the Shore," will speak at the Emerging Writers event at the Decatur Book...
Sep
12
Tuesday
Harriet Hodgson, author of "Family Caregiver's Guide," will be a part of the University of Minnesota Rochester Connects...
Sep
15
Friday
IPG will be attending the SIBA Fall Conference in New Orleans, LA from September 15 - 17, 2017.
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