Download Once In A Great City: A Detroit Story Audiobook

Once In A Great City: A Detroit Story Audiobook, by David Maraniss Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: David Maraniss Narrator: David Maraniss Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2015 ISBN: 9781442387928
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“A fascinating political, racial, economic, and cultural tapestry” (Detroit Free Press), Once in a Great City is a tour de force from David Maraniss about the quintessential American city at the top of its game: Detroit in 1963.

Detroit in 1963 is on top of the world. The city’s leaders are among the most visionary in America: Grandson of the first Ford; Henry Ford II; Motown’s founder Berry Gordy; the Reverend C.L. Franklin and his daughter, the incredible Aretha; Governor George Romney, Mormon and Civil Rights advocate; car salesman Lee Iacocca; Police Commissioner George Edwards; Martin Luther King. The time was full of promise. The auto industry was selling more cars than ever before. Yet the shadows of collapse were evident even then.

“Elegiac and richly detailed” (The New York Times), in Once in a Great City David Maraniss shows that before the devastating riot, before the decades of civic corruption and neglect, and white flight; before people trotted out the grab bag of rust belt infirmities and competition from abroad to explain Detroit’s collapse, one could see the signs of a city’s ruin. Detroit at its peak was threatened by its own design. It was being abandoned by the new world economy and by the transfer of American prosperity to the information and service industries. In 1963, as Maraniss captures it with power and affection, Detroit summed up America’s path to prosperity and jazz that was already past history. “Maraniss has written a book about the fall of Detroit, and done it, ingeniously, by writing about Detroit at its height….An encyclopedic account of Detroit in the early sixties, a kind of hymn to what really was a great city” (The New Yorker). Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Once in a Great City is incandescent…a classic American story of promise and loss.”

    Gay Talese, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Elegiac and richly detailed…Maraniss…conjures those boom years of his former hometown with novelistic ardor…[and] succeeds with authoritative, adrenaline-laced flair.”

    New York Times

  • “Captivating …That’s the tragedy at the core of this gracious, generous book. All that remains of the hopeful moment Maraniss so effectively describes is a soundtrack. And that isn’t nearly enough.”

    Washington Post

  • “The simple breadth of the book is impressive, with Maraniss merging and wrangling disparate story lines about culture, politics, race, and the Ford Mustang into a single patchwork image of the Motor City.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Maraniss highlights the class and race frictions that demarcated and defined the city and gives readers a glimpse of the colorful life of mobsters and moguls, entertainers and entrepreneurs.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “With exhaustive research and incisive profiles of key players like Henry Ford and Berry Gordy, Maraniss evokes a vibrant city reaching for the top—even as signs of its eventual decline were starting to emerge.”


  • “The narrative’s tone of reminiscence makes it entertainingly informative…A colorful, detailed history.”

    Library Journal

  • “[A] fast-paced, sprawling, copiously detailed look at eighteen months—from 1962 to 1964—in the city’s past…Maraniss’ brawny narrative evokes a city still ‘vibrantly alive’ and striving for a renaissance.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A BookPage Top Pick for September 2014
  • A New York Times bestseller

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About the Author

David Maraniss is on the national staff at the Washington Post. His articles on presidential candidate Bill Clinton won him the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1993. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife, Linda. They have two grown children.