‘Broke’ Chronicles a City Out of Cash

and Awash in Desperation

Anna Clark of the The New York Times recently reviewed “Broke: Hardship and Resilience in a City of Broken Promises,” a new book from St. Martin’s Press written by Marron Institute Research Professor, Jodie Kirshner. Clark writes: 

Disinvestment, suburban sprawl, systemic racism: It has been nothing less than a bloodletting. Detroit is one of many shrinking American cities that have lost half or more of their peak population. To provide services across the same geography with diminishing tax revenue, leaders have turned to debt, austerity, bankruptcy and even, in Michigan’s case, suspended local democracy.

If this sounds overwhelming, it should. In Broke, Jodie Adams Kirshner gives sustained attention to the way ordinary people in Detroit are making do. She follows seven of them — some lifelong residents, some more recent arrivals — as they seek opportunities for themselves and their families.

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