Detroit bankruptcy book topic of talk at DIA on April 26

By Tom Kirvan
Legal News

The upcoming book, “Detroit Resurrected: To Bankruptcy and Back,” will be the focus of a program at the Detroit Institute of Arts on Tuesday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m.

Author Nathan Bomey, a business writer with USA Today, will be featured at the event, discussing his book with Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley. The conversation will run from 6:30-8 p.m.  Admission is free, but seating is limited. To register, visit

In “Detroit Resurrected,” Bomey “delivers the inside story of the fight to save Detroit against impossible odds,” according to an announcement of the book launch from publisher W.W. Norton & Company. Bomey, who covered the bankruptcy for The Free Press, “provides a gripping account of the tremendous clash between lawyers, judges, bankers, union leaders, politicians, philanthropist, and people of Detroit themselves.”

The book, as it is promoted, tells of a “battle to rescue” Detroit that “pulled together those who believed in its future – despite their differences. Help came in the form of Republican Governor Rick Snyder, a technocrat who famously called himself ‘one tough nerd’; emergency manager Kevyn Orr, a sharp-shooting lawyer and ‘yellow-dog Democrat’; and judges Steven Rhodes and Gerald Rosen, the key architects of the grand bargain that would give the city a second chance at life.”

Bomey, an Eastern Michigan University alum, worked at The Free Press from 2012-15 before joining USA Today as a national business reporter. He began his journalism career as a freelancer for The Saline Reporter in the fall of 2000 while a high school junior and later served as editor of the student newspaper, The Eastern Echo, at EMU. Over the course of his career, Bomey has written for Heritage Newspapers, The Ann Arbor Business Review,, The Free Press, and USA Today.

In an interview with The Legal News earlier this year, Bomey said he began to consider writing a book on the bankruptcy case in early 2014, some six months after the city filed for bankruptcy protection. By the summer of 2014, his thoughts were starting to turn to reality when he was contacted by a New York publishing agent about writing a book on the Detroit bankruptcy.

After pitching the idea to several publishing houses, Bomey was offered a book deal in the fall of 2014 with the “goal of submitting a first draft in the spring (of 2015).” His first draft came in at some 105,000 words, nearly 30,000 more than the publisher’s target. He then began some judicious cutting, trimming nearly a third of his original manuscript.

The book, now pegged at 325 pages, is scheduled for release on April 25. The April 26 appearance at the DIA will launch his book tour.

“I will do a short talk on my book and then Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley will moderate a Q & A with me, and, of course, we’ll take questions from the audience, too,” Bomey said this week in an e-mail. “Books will be available for sale and I’ll do a book signing afterward.”

While in Detroit, Bomey also has scheduled a book-signing event for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27 at Pages Bookshop, 19560 Grand River Ave.

Relatedly, U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen, who served as chief mediator in the bankruptcy proceedings, also is writing a book on the historic case.

Rosen, former chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, was the primary architect of the “Grand Bargain,” the brainstorm that helped rescue Detroit from financial ruin while also saving the DIA and dramatically reducing cuts to retiree pensions.

His book, which is yet to be titled, will tell the story of “Detroit’s own Big Bang Theory of unrelated people and events colliding together by chance in the same time and space to create a universe of new hope and opportunity for a great city and its people,” Rosen wrote in a draft of its introduction.

A publishing date has yet to be set.

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