Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Order the updated paperback edition of Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City

The revised and updated paperback edition of Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City is available now at Amazon and other booksellers. Or order directly from the University of California Press here and get a 30% discount. Just use coupon code 17M6662 at checkout.


“One can read Teardown and go 'My, my, my! What a horrid town! Thank God I don't live there!' Oh, but you do. Just as the 'Roger & Me Flint' of the 1980s was the precursor to a wave of downsizing that eventually hit every American community, Gordon Young's Flint of 2013, as so profoundly depicted in this book, is your latest warning of what's in store for you — all of you, no matter where you live — in the next decade. The only difference between your town and Flint is that the Grim Reaper just likes to visit us first. It's all here in Teardown, a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once great American city.”

“A poignant, often funny look at an iconic Rust Belt city struggling to recover.”

“Young shines a spotlight on a broken city and the efforts of those desperate to save it, but this is also the story of a man confronting a crisis of identity and finding hope where there seemed to be none.”

“Armed with an aluminum baseball bat and a truth-seeking pen, Gordon Young returns to the post-industrial wasteland of his hometown — Vehicle City, aka Flint, Michigan — in search of a derelict house to buy and restore. At least that's his cover story. Young's true mission is to reclaim his past in order to make sense of his present. If you're bewitched by the place where you grew up, you'll find comfort and a sense of home in the pages of Teardown.”


  1. Just purchased the eBook version. Kindle with font resizing is easier for me to read. :) Gordon, you had me cracking up with your home buying experience in SF. My wife and I tried to buy a house in the Eastbay for six or seven years before we finally giving up mid-2000s. We did eventually get a house in Oakley out by Antioch/Pittsburgh in 2012. It only happened because of the housing market crash during the Great Recession and we were fortunate to still have our jobs. I'm looking forward to reading the rest.

    1. Thanks! I often wonder if "outsiders" in more normal housing markets can fathom what goes into buying a house on a tight budget in California. And glad you found a place in Oakley. Not a bad place to be right now. Here in SF, there's an 18 month wait for a permit to add on to your house, so some things never change.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at