David Maraniss is an associate editor at The Washington Post. In addition to Once in A Great City: A Detroit Story, Maraniss is the author of six critically acclaimed and bestselling books: Barack Obama: The Story; When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi; First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton; They Marched Into Sunlight – War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967; Clemente – The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero; and Rome 1960: The Summer Olympics That Stirred the World. He is also the author of Into the Story: A Writer’s Journey Through Life, Politics, Sports and Loss, The Clinton Enigma and coauthor of The Prince of Tennessee: Al Gore Meets His Fate and “Tell Newt to Shut Up!”
David is a three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and won the Pulitzer for national reporting in 1993 for his newspaper coverage of then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton. He also was part of The Washington Post team that won a 2008 Pulitzer for the newspaper’s coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting. He has won several other notable awards for achievements in journalism, including the George Polk Award, the Dirksen Prize for Congressional Reporting, the ASNE Laventhol Prize for Deadline Writing, the Hancock Prize for Financial Writing, the Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Frankfort Book Prize, the Eagleton Book Prize, the Ambassador Book Prize, and Latino Book Prize.
ABOUT THE BOOK
It’s 1963 and Detroit 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; influential labor leader Walter Reuther; Motown’s founder Berry Gordy; the Reverend C.L. Franklin and his daughter, the amazing Aretha; Governor George Romney, Mormon and Civil Rights advocate; super car salesman Lee Iacocca; Mayor Jerome Cavanagh, a Kennedy acolyte; Police Commissioner George Edwards; Martin Luther King. It was the American auto makers’ best year; the revolution in music and politics was underway. Reuther’s UAW had helped lift the middle class.
The time was full of promise. The auto industry was selling more cars than ever before and inventing the Mustang. Motown was capturing the world with its amazing artists. The progressive labor movement was rooted in Detroit with the UAW. Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech there two months before he made it famous in the Washington march.
Once in a Great City shows that the shadows of collapse were evident even then. Detroit at its peak was threatened by its own design. It was being abandoned by the new world. Yet so much of what Detroit gave America lasts.