Charlie LeDuff, author of Detroit: An American Autopsy, stopped by Marketplace to talk about his home city.
"Detroit built the American way of life, it built the middle class," said LeDuff. "Everything came out of coal and steel and rubber and cars — and it went away. And now we still have coherent car companies, but we don’t have the jobs, because those are gone. So what do we do with all the leftover people?"
The book details corruption of city officials and mismanagment of city funds, to the detriment of police officers and fire fighters who are left with little resources to support the population.
He said the city still has plenty of humanity left, though. LeDuff dismissed the suggestion the book is a form of ruin porn.
"I’m not writing about buildings, that’s what people come here and do. They write about buildings and they take pictures of buildings and they seem to miss all the humanity that’s here," he said. "We’re living, breathing human beings who have dreams and children and wishes and hunger. That’s who I’m writing about. I’m writing about how hard it is to get through this, but the fact is, we are. And we’re fighters. So it’s not ruin porn. It’s about holding on.”