An unflinching, honest memoir of growing up white and working class in a city that came to exemplify black urban decay describes the racism and prejudice he faced as one of the few white students at his Catholic high school, the impact of affirmative action and busing on Detroit's old ethnic neighborhoods, and other grim realities of life in urban America. Reprint. 17,500 first printing.
A New York Times Notable BookA powerfully candid memoir about growing up white in Detroit and the conflicted point of view it produced.Raised in Detroit during the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, Paul Clemens saw his family growing steadily isolated from its surroundings: white in a predominately black city, Catholic in an area where churches were closing at a rapid rate, and blue-collar in a steadily declining Rust Belt. As the city continued to collapse—from depopulation, indifference, and the racial antagonism between blacks and whites—Clemens turned to writing and literature as his lifeline, his way of dealing with his contempt for suburban escapees and his frustration with the city proper. Sparing no one—particularly not himself—this is an astonishing examination of race and class relations from a fresh perspective, one forged in a city both desperate and hopeful.