In 1950, Detroit was booming. Motor City had a thriving auto industry, more than 1,800,000 citizens and in less than 10 years would be the home of Motown. It was America’s fifth-largest city and appeared to herald a new social order. “In the 1950s, social scientists and journalists held up the auto industry as an example of the end of class conflict in America,” wrote Thomas Sugrue, professor of history and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania in an essay. “They argued that auto workers, who enjoyed hefty paychecks and good benefits, had become ‘embourgeoised’ — that is, they had entered the ranks of the middle class.” Then came race riots, competition in the auto industry from throughout the world, and people fleeing the city and urban decay. Now Detroit, with a population of just over 700,000, is in the middle of a review process that could end up in bankruptcy court within weeks. Kristopher Morrison and Richard Johnson chart the city’s demise.