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December 4, 2013

1957 description of today's Detroit


"A few houses still stood within the skeleton of what had once been an industrial town.
Everything that could move, had moved away; but some human beings had remained. The empty structures were vertical rubble; they had been eaten, not by time, but by men: boards torn out at random, missing patches of roofs, holes left in gutted cellars. It looked as if blind hands had seized whatever fitted the need of the moment, with no concept of remaining in existence the next morning. The inhabited houses were scattered at random among the ruins; the smoke of their chimneys was the only movement visible in town. A shell of concrete, which had been a schoolhouse, stood on the outskirts; it looked like a skull, with the empty sockets of glassless windows, with a few strands of hair still clinging to it, in the shape of broken wires." - - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957

Posted by gerardvanderleun at December 4, 2013 10:52 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Hasn't changed much in the 18 years since I was last there. Just gotten much more so.

Posted by: leelu at December 4, 2013 12:02 PM

The people of Sand Creek, Illinois, had been placed on national relief, but no food could be found for them in the empty granaries of the nation at the frantic call of the moment—so the seed grain of the farmers of Nebraska had been seized by order of the Unification Board—and Train Number 194 had carried the unplanted harvest and the future of the people of Nebraska to be consumed by the people of Illinois. "In this enlightened age," Eugene Lawson had said in a radio broadcast, "we have come, at last, to realize that each one of us is his brother's keeper."

Posted by: Mumblix Grumph at December 4, 2013 9:24 PM

I do believe Ms. Rand was afflicted with a kind of mania, some have even stated that she was a savant of sorts. For this, I am grateful. Her fiction wasn't really fiction.

Posted by: Kerry at December 5, 2013 7:09 PM

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