In 1971, rogue Wayne State geographer William Bunge (placed on a federal list of dangerous intellectuals) published Fitzgerald: Geography of a Revolution, a radical polemic about how everyday citizens of a Detroit ghetto could challenge oppression and become geographers of their own neighborhoods. Forty years later, Jeff Rice (formerly a Wayne State professor himself) revisits Detroit geography, but this time largely from his laptop (and without, I hope, the same kind of federal harassment). For while Bunge’s Fitzgerald and Jeff Rice’s Digital Detroit share similar terrain, as well as a love for the city in all its contradictions, Rice isn’t looking for a revolution. In fact, he’s looking to change our entire vocabulary around urban spaces away from narratives of revolution and stability, progress and retrenchment, destruction and renewal—the kinds of binaries that have taken over both the ways we talk about, and actually experience, cities like Detroit. Instead, Rice navigates us through an odd and thrilling travelogue of the Motor City by finding the bonds and connections between the cultural scraps and bits that constitute the essence of a city and its inhabitants—the networks that bind the diverse experiences of Detroit together.

Document Type

Book Review

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Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2013 Rhetoric Society of America.

The definitive version is available at: http://www.rhetoricsociety.org/aws/RSA/pt/sp/rsq

Full Citation:

Barney, Timothy. "Review of Digital Detroit: Rhetoric and Space in the Age of the Network." Rhetoric Society Quarterly 43, no. 1 (2013): 95-98.