Catalogue

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Hard stuff : the autobiography of Coleman Young /
Coleman Young with Lonnie Wheeler.
imprint
New York : Viking, 1994.
description
xxii, 344 p., [16] p. of plates : ill.
ISBN
0670845515
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
New York : Viking, 1994.
isbn
0670845515
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
246237
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1993-12-13:
In his inimitably vinegary colloquial style, Young, the five-term mayor of Detroit, reflects on his eventful life and forthrightly defends his controversial stewardship of America's blackest city. Writing with Wheeler (coauthor of I Had a Hammer ), he recalls his boyhood in Detroit's overcrowded, hustling black east side, his battle against racism in the Army, his rise in the union movement and his vigorous resistance against the House Un-American Activities Committee. He blames the postwar decline of Detroit on misguided federal industrial policy, superhighway construction, blockbusting and white racism. After a scarring 1967 race riot, Young, a state legislator, was elected mayor in 1972 on a platform calling for a ``people's police department.'' Describing Detroit as a ``condensed, microcosmic, accelerated version of Everycity, U.S.A.,'' he convincingly presents himself as a pragmatic radical whose primary concern is the high unemployment rate in his city, and he maintains that his prideful black rhetoric does not obscure his longtime call for racial unity. He argues that Detroit must reconnect with its suburbs, and if his claim that black-governed Detroit has achieved ``a level of autonomy . . . no other city can match'' sounds self-serving, this still remains a valuable book on urban issues. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Choice on 1994-09:
Detroit mayor Coleman Young's autobiography reveals the mind and role of a militantly partisan, hard-edged radical who unabashedly fought for African American rights and power in American society from the 1920s to the 1990s. It is a an exceptional story of the man who moved from Alabama to Detroit in the 1920s, and who became one of the most nationally influential black politicians as 20-year mayor of that city. The book is studded with remarkable vignettes that trace the subtleties of African American history and leadership. A pole apart from Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery (1900), Young's book speaks of both personal and principled clashes among African American leaders, of pragmatic politics, and of leadership that did not require adoration. It is an anecdotal history of how to survive as a relentless agitator for African American rights, spoken by a man whose life, from Tuskegee airman to manipulator of urban renewal, threaded through most of the central struggles of the Civil Rights Movements. Recommended for readers, high school and above, as a rich political memoir. J. H. Smith; Wake Forest University
Appeared in Library Journal on 1994-01-01:
Young provides a detailed and painfully frank account of his life, from his early years in Alabama to his tenure as mayor of Detroit. Rich in historical texture, these reflections cover the migration of African Americans to Northern cities during the Depression, unionization of Detroit's auto workers in the late 1930s, segregation of military units during World War II, violent racial conflict in the 1960s and 1970s, and political turmoil in Detroit during Young's five terms as mayor. A recurring theme is the racist underpinnings of a national urban policy that has neglected America's cities and their social and economic problems. More so than recent biographies by Philadelphia's Wilson Goode ( In Goode Faith , LJ 10/1/92), Chicago's Jane Byrne ( My Chicago , LJ 4/1/92), and Milwaukee's Henry W. Maier ( The Mayor Who Made Milwaukee Famous , LJ 1/93), Coleman's memoir analyzes the rise and fall of American cities in the late 20th century. An invaluable resource for specialists on urban history and politics, labor history, and minority politics, this is also recommended for informed lay readers. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/93.-- William Waugh Jr., Georgia State Univ., Atlanta (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, December 1993
Publishers Weekly, December 1993
Booklist, January 1994
Library Journal, January 1994
Choice, September 1994
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Summaries
Authored Title
This autobiography by the 5-term former mayor of Detroit traces his political career and discusses the city's racial problems.

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