Well, I’m counting this as a book I read even though it really is a picture book. Aside from an introduction and an acknowledgments section, the book contains photographs, mostly taken by helicopter, of Detroit and its environs. The selections include a number of corporate headquarters (Ford, GM, K-Mart, American Motor Corporation), a couple of old churches, some of the new developments and high-rises constructed to handle the 1980s resurgence of Detroit predicted by Detroit boosters, a couple shots of Tiger Stadium (Home of the 1984 World Champion Detroit TIGERS!), one picture of the Pontiac Silverdome (where a football team and basketball team played, or so I hear), and a several shots of nearby farms/neighborhoods/and so on.
The only thing I’ll remember from this book, aside from the obvious lesson in urban “resurgence” promised year after year by urban moneyspenders, is a catch phrase. The book also sports a number of thumbnail photos of collections of vehicles taken from the helicopter which sport the phrase “as art.” A bunch of schoolbuses in a parking lot, a number of automobiles outside an automotive plant, a number of train cars in a train yard. The caption is “School buses as art” or “Transport containers as art.”
From this day forward, “as art” shall verily apply to any collection of common goods that I want to elevate to the heights of pretentiousness. Think of this blog, for instance, as “English words as art.”
A quick look at Amazon shows that the photographer did later editions of this book, perhaps with later photographs. But this is the 1985 edition, worthwhile not because the city of Detroit is worth anything, but because of the hysterical historical significance.
Man, I am glad this guy didn’t express his affection for Milwaukee this way; otherwise, I’d have to examine and review the book earnestly.