On July 24, 1701, Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac stood in the heart of the wilderness on a bluff overlooking the Detroit River and claimed this frontier in the name of Louis XIV; thus began the story of Detroit, a city marked by pioneering spirits, industrial acumen, and uncommon durability. Over the course of its 300-year history, Detroit has been sculpted into a city unique in the American experience by its extraordinary mixture of diverse cultures: American Indian, French, British, American colonial, and a variety of immigrant newcomers. Detroit: A Motor City History documents the major events that shaped this once-small French fur-trading outpost across three centuries of conflict and prosperity. Through informative text and a variety of imagery, readers experience firsthand the struggles of the nascent village against raiding Indian tribes and the incessant political and military tug of war between the colonial French and English, and then American interests. Like many other major cities across the United States, Detroit played a pivotal role in establishing the country's economic and industrial power in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, serving as a center for its well-known civilian and military mass-production resources. This visual history provides insight into Detroit's rapid evolution from a hamlet into a metropolis against a backdrop of important community and national affairs: the decimating fire of 1805, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and both world wars.
About the Author
Author and historian David Lee Poremba, acting manager of the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library, has written a concise and highly readable history that will appeal to many generations of readers, both old and young, resident and visitor. Remembering fondly the personalities and milestones that make this city's character so special, Detroit: A Motor City History chronicles, in word and image, the fascinating past of a historic American city teeming with opportunity and vivacity.