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Detroit: Engine of America

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Detroit: Engine of America

By R.J. King

This is the story of how, starting in 1701, a crude French settlement along the Detroit River became, in 1900, the birthplace of the automotive industry. Forging the first industrial powerhouse wasn’t easy. Scant inbound supplies from the English colonies took months, if they arrived at all. The first 100 inhabitants led by explorer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, with the guidance of Native American tribes, built a fledgling economy of fishing, farming, and hunting, the latter propelled mightily by the fur trade. As the populace sputtered and grew, they developed the machinery and skilled trades that produced in volume wagons, stagecoaches, steamships, hearths, locomotives, boxcars, furniture, stoves, equipment, marine engines, pharmaceutical drugs, and finally, the horseless carriage. Detroit’s grit and brawn ignited what is the first city in the Midwest, ingenuity and self-sufficiency thrust it on the world stage.








11 reviews for Detroit: Engine of America

  1. 5 out of 5

    “It’s a beautiful book and it’s done so well.”
    — Mitch Albom, Author, Columnist, Host on WJR-AM

  2. 5 out of 5

    “In his new book, R.J. King covers Detroit like no else. The story of the city’s founding and growth is all about entrepreneurism.”
    — Jeff Sloan, co-founder and host, StartUpNation Radio

  3. 5 out of 5

    “R.J. King’s book provides great insight on leadership and how people working together can accomplish amazing things.”
    — Vanessa Denha-Garmo, Host, “It’s Your Community,” WJR-AM

  4. 5 out of 5

    “I found (it) to be a fascinating read … arguably the most comprehensive history of our city I have ever read!”
    — Ron Lamparter, Chairman, Defense Corridor Center for Collaboration and Synergy

  5. 5 out of 5

    “I love the layout, the art work, the paper used, and the bible-type ribbon book mark. Just fantastic!”
    — Joseph Polito, owner, Woodward Warehouse

  6. 5 out of 5

    “We bought 100 books and we’re giving them out as gifts. It’s a great read!”
    — Linzie Vengas, Vice President, Ideal Group

  7. 5 out of 5

    “I just finished your book and LOVED it! It was rich, informative, and very well-written. Thank you for writing this book. It will give people joy for years to come.” — Josef Bastian, Author, Producer, Creator of Folktellers Universe

  8. 5 out of 5

    “Congratulations to R.J. King on a great book about our beloved city, ‘Detroit: Engine of America.’”
    — Strategic Staffing Solutions, Detroit

  9. 5 out of 5

    “With “Detroit: Engine of America,” R.J. King — a Detroit News business writer from 1994-2006 — gives us a fascinating chronological history of the Motor City seen through the businesses that led, inexorably, to its 20th-century power and prominence.” Article Link: https://bit.ly/2Y6ffhJ
    — Michael Hodges, Fine Arts Writer, Detroit News

  10. 5 out of 5

    “It’s an outstanding book.”
    — Bob Bury, President and CEO, Fair Lane Home of Clara and Henry Ford, former President and CEO, Detroit Historical Museum

  11. 5 out of 5

    ‘”Detroit: Engine of America” is a must read for a person like me — born in Detroit and one who has spent most of my life living in metro Detroit. It is rich in local history and highlights important advancements, breakthroughs, and inventions. It provides me with a layer of knowledge and respect for our founding fathers. Now, many of the local streets, buildings, structures, and organizations take on new meaning and greater historic perspective. Thank you for writing this book.”
    — Mike Lapinski, Automotive Supplier Executive

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