Writer Alexander Nazaryan recommends Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City on The Atlantic Wire's summer reading list. Here's what he has to say:
What it’s about: A journalist living in San Francisco decides to move back to decrepit Flint, Mich., where he was born and raised. Moreover, he does this in what appears to be a fully sound state of mind.
How long it will take to read: It’s a densely packed 288 pages, but nobody is going to quiz you on the address of The Wooden Keg – we hope.
Useful factoid: Flint has been named one of “America’s Fastest-Dying Cities,” “America’s Most Miserable Cities” and “Worst Cities for Recession Recovery,” among a plethora of other negative superlatives Young lists right before decamping for this once-industrious place that gave rise to General Motors.
You should read it if: Your city planning experience doesn't go past SimCity and you can’t figure out why towns don’t just build tram lines, spruce up the public parks and renovate warehouses into lofts.
It matters because: As cities like Flint go, so goes much of the nation.
Perfect for: The amateur urbanist who wants to go to Flint without actually having to leave the backyard.