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Detroit Remains, Detroit Remains, 0817321047, 0-8173-2104-7, 978-0-8173-2104-8, 9780817321048, , , Detroit Remains, 0817393730, 0-8173-9373-0, 978-0-8173-9373-1, 9780817393731, , , Detroit Remains, 081736028X, 0-8173-6028-X, 978-0-8173-6028-3, 9780817360283,

Detroit Remains
Archaeology and Community Histories of Six Legendary Places
Krysta Ryzewski

2021. 352 pp.
51 color figures / 26 B&W figures / 6 maps / 1 table
Price:  $79.95 s
Quality Paper
2021. 352 pp.
51 color figures / 26 B&W figures / 6 maps / 1 table
Price:  $39.95 s
E Book
2021. 352 pp.
51 color figures / 26 B&W figures / 6 maps / 1 table
Price:  $39.95 d

Winner of the University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation 2022 Book Prize

An archaeologically grounded history of six legendary places in Detroit
The city of Detroit has endured periods of unprecedented industrial growth, decline, and revitalization between the late nineteenth century and the present. In Detroit Remains: Archaeology and Community Histories of Six Legendary Places, Krysta Ryzewski presents six archaeological case studies of legendary Detroit institutions—Little Harry speakeasy, the Ransom Gillis house, the Blue Bird Inn, Gordon Park, the Grande Ballroom, and the Halleck Street log cabin—that trace the contours of the city’s underrepresented communities and their relationship to local currents of capitalism and social justice. Through a combination of rigorous historical archaeological research and narrative storytelling, Ryzewski deftly contextualizes the cases within the city’s current struggles, including recovery from bankruptcy, and future-oriented recovery efforts.
This is the first historical archaeology book focused on Detroit and one of the few to foreground the archaeology of the Great Migration era (ca. 1915–1970). The archaeological scholarship is rooted in collaborative, community-involved, and public-facing initiatives. The case studies examine how power is and has been exercised in Detroit’s communities over the past century: how it was stripped from the city’s twentieth- and twenty-first-century residents, but also how they acquired alternative sources of agency by establishing creative and illicit economies, most of which still operated within the city’s capitalist framework.
Throughout this book, connections run deep between archaeology, heritage, politics, historic preservation, and storytelling. Detroit Remains demonstrates how the city’s past, present, and future lie not in ruins but in the tangible archaeological traces of the everyday lives of Detroiters and their legacies.
Krysta Ryzewski is associate professor of anthropology at Wayne State University. She is coauthor of An Archaeological History of Montserrat in the West Indies and coeditor of Contemporary Archaeology and the City: Creativity, Ruination, and Political Action.

“In this timely book, Ryzewski carefully and sensitively presents the story of one of America’s most iconic and culturally significant cities, using six special places as points of entry. Ryzewski reveals that Detroit, though much maligned by outsiders, has a glorious and infinitely complex history, one that rewards archaeologists with rich stories and essential lessons. Every urban archaeologist and historian should digest this required reading, ponder its profound significance, and emulate it.”
—Charles E. Orser Jr., author of Historical Archaeology

Detroit Remains provides an interesting example of contemporary archaeology that is rooted in community partnerships and local place-based heritage, which in Detroit’s case are often heritage narratives that resist the city’s own urban development fantasies.”
—Paul Mullins, author of Revolting Things: The Archaeology of Shameful Things and Repulsive Realities

“The cleverly titled Detroit Remains defiantly challenges expectations, cover to cover, upending a narrative of remnants and decay with stories of the persistence and continued relevance of a city’s identity, its people, and historical archaeology alike.”
–American Antiquity

“This book is an excellent summary of some of the community-based archaeological projects that Ryzewski has led to investigate the historical archaeology of Detroit. Projects detailed are varied, ranging from an early-20th-century speakeasy tied to the bootlegging trade from Ontario to a dance hall that served as a key event space in the counter cultural scene of late 1960s and early 1970s Detroit. The chapters discuss the projects themselves and how urban historical archaeology ties into broader issues related to land-use planning, community advocacy, and heritage legislation in the US. While the book has obvious value related to the details of the subject matter (the urban material culture and architectural heritage of Detroit), it also offers valuable insight into the role of urban historical archaeology as part of the urban planning and design process and regarding how questions of federal-, municipal-, and state-level heritage interests and responsibilities intersect in the context of urban archaeology in the US. As such, this book has a very wide potential audience beyond academic archaeologists and archaeology students. Recommended.”

Detroit Remains is a compelling example of the future of archaeology that ranges between past and present, engaging written, oral, and material sources in telling the stories of a living Detroit. Set in a city that at times seems dystopian, Ryzewski and her collaborators confront the lives of those who have been both the victims and benefactors of industrial capitalism’s boom and bust cycles to say nothing of systemic racism. Through such noteworthy addresses as the Blue Bird Inn, Little Harry speakeasy, Gordon Park, and Grande Ballroom, the reader is given a tour of an urban landscape replete with memories that refuse to be silenced. To even conceive of a ‘jazz archaeology’ is worthy enough, but to do so as part of a much richer story that only archaeology can tell is to see the discipline’s future squarely in focus. Truly a joy to read.”
—Stephen A. Mrozowski, author of The Archaeology of Class in Urban America

Detroit Remains is a book that Detroit deserves and archaeology needs. The book effectively demonstrates that even sites from the relatively recent past can be uniquely and significantly understood through the inherent interdisciplinarity of Historical Archaeology.”
—Jane Eva Baxter, author of The Archaeology of American Childhood and Adolescence

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