As the Detroit Auto Show swings into action, Lawrence Ulrich has an interesting profile of the city many journalists love to hate. He writes:
My late blue-collar father and retired white-collar uncle worked for Budd, a parts supplier that was absorbed by a German steel company. My brother, Kurt, is a millwright at Chrysler, though he’s been idle since Easter and has had two tours of Iraq as an Army reservist.As a teenager in the ’80s, I lasted a year in a union-free shop, a nasty corrugated bunker where accidents and callous managers taught me why unions came to exist. Now I’m back for an annual auto-show pilgrimage, which also allows a catch-up with friends, family and the city that I love — sort of. Detroit and its eponymous industry are both like the relative who’s in and out of rehab: you’re never sure whether he needs a hug or a smack upside the head.