Simply cannot recommend enough Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff. A former NYT reporter returns to DET as a native son.
If you want to understand everything that has happened in recent years in America, Detroit is your learning lab. The ramifications of corporate greed on the middle class and abject poverty? Look at Detroit. The unintentional handover of power, from politicians who are too concerned with padding their own pockets, to the gangs that eventually rule the streets.
LeDuff's writing is at times absolutely perfect. I've been studying journalism for a fair bit and I cannot even fathom his methods. This book has easily cracked my top 10 if not my top 5.
I have visited Detroit a number of times and love catching lunch at Mugsie's in Corktown, or visiting the Science museum. There are pockets of wonderful things happening and LeDuff does not manage to highlight these as well as he could. Still, there is courage and truth mined from the stories he shares on his journalistic beat. I couldn't get enough.
I would lend you my copy but of course I bought it for Loverpants only to abscond with it :)