David Maraniss is an associate editor at the Washington Post, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and the author of First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton; Rome 1960: The Olympics that Stirred the World; Barack Obama: The Story; Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero; They Marched into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America, October 1967; and When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi. His latest book is Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story (Simon & Schuster). It was 1963. The time was full of promise. It was the American auto makers’ best year; Reuther’s UAW had helped lift the middle class. The auto industry was selling more cars than ever before and inventing the Mustang. Motown was capturing the world with its amazing artists. Once in a Great City shows that the shadows of collapse were evident even then. Before the devastating riot. Before the decades of civic corruption and neglect, and white flight. As Maraniss captures it with power and affection, Detroit at its peak was threatened by its own design.