Paul Clemens reviews Once In a Great City in the New York Times’ Sunday Book Review: “The great virtue of Maraniss’s bighearted book is that it casts a wide net, collecting and seeking to synthesize … seemingly disparate strands…The cast of characters is huge: Kennedy and King, Walter Reuther, the Ford family, Berry Gordy Jr. and his Motown artists, Malcolm X, the Franklins (the Rev. C.L. and Aretha), Lyndon Johnson, Lee Iacocca, various mobsters. Even where the material is familiar, the connections Maraniss makes among these figures feel fresh. He’s even better on the lesser known. ” Read the full review here.
From the New York Times: In his elegiac and richly detailed new book, “Once in a Great City,” David Maraniss — the author of biographies of Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Roberto Clemente — conjures those boom years of his former hometown with novelistic ardor. Using overlapping portraits of Detroiters (from politicians to musicians to auto execs), he creates a mosaiclike picture of the city that has the sort of intimacy and tactile emotion that Larry McMurtry brought to his depictions of the Old West, and the gritty sweep of David Simon’s HBO series “The Wire.” Read Michiko Kakutani’s full review here.
Here’s my interview with David Axelrod, on his great podcast, The Axe Files.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Tavis Smiley on a recent trip to LA. Here’s the video!
“Even if you think you know everything there is to know about Detroit, “Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story” offers another historical perspective, whether it is the city’s contribution to the world of auto manufacturing, the music of Motown which provided a soundtrack for an entire generation of young Americans, how Detroit almost hosted the summer Olympics in 1968, or how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came to deliver his “I Have A Dream” speech in Detroit before the historic March On Washington.” Watch the video of the complete interview here.
C-SPAN visited Madison, Wisconsin earlier this fall for a relaxed conversation on ONCE IN A GREAT CITY. Here’s the video.
I had great fun participating in a wide-ranging Q&A with The National Book Review. Check it out here.
From Glen Macnow’s review: In Maraniss’ acclaimed bios of Vince Lombardi and Roberto Clemente, I was struck by his meticulous research. More, I sensed his genuine affection and sensitivity for the subject. In this bio, the main subject – this “great city” – gets no less.
Jeanne Kolker of the Wisconsin State Journal wrote a fun feature on our family’s Madison roots. Check it out here.
Great review from The Economist, beginning with the Eminem commercial that captured my attention and drew me back to Detroit.