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Riffling through a family album of Detroit from the turn of the century to the brink of Depression, authors Stark (Detroit's official historian) and Beasley (Men, Money and Motors) pause to salt oft-told tales, chuckle reminiscently ver home-town odd-balls, cheer Tiger triumphs furiously, and haphazardly race the Motor City's economic course. Ignoring many distinguished sons, the authors, chronicle veal minor figures; here are larcenous Sophie Lyons Burke, the mysterious Mr. Reed, pretending to represent Supreme Court Justice Hughes, and Detroit's misanthrope Jim Scott, who had the last laugh from his grave by bequeathing a fountain for Belle Isle to be erected in his memory. Fordophiles and Fordophobes will relish accounts of Henry's successful evasion of patent infringement charges by the Selden Co. and his quarrel with the Dodge brothers over price-cutting. Passages from newspapers document the decades between 1908-28 when early advertisements reminded a horse-minded public that gas engines required no hay or oats. Reminiscent of Bingay's Detroit Is My Home Town, this cracker- barrel summing-up short-changes the crucible city; it fails to communicate the thrumming dynamism and virility of Detroit, the cultural center -- home of the Detroit Institute of Arts, of the Henry and Edsel Ford Auditorium of Cranbrook and the new GM Technical Center. Mainly for Michigan.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1957
Publisher: Putnam