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Native American Activism in Chicago, 1893-1934
Before and after the Minneapolis Bridge Collapse
A Military History
In the spring of 1933, the United States was in the midst of the worst economic calamity it had ever experienced. Newly inaugurated president Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to approve funding allowing legions of out-of-work young men to find employment reclaiming and developing the nation’s natural spaces. The Civilian Conservation Corps became a reality in April 1933 and forever changed the way the American people viewed their parks, rivers, lakes, and other natural areas.
This book tells the story of the CCC’s construction of the Virginia Kendall Reserve, which today is part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, in Northeast Ohio. Four hundred and thirty acres of farmland came under the control of the Akron Metropolitan Park District and its director-secretary, Harold Wagner, who immediately applied to the federal government to establish a CCC camp there with the aim of creating a natural recreation landscape open to the public.
Author Kenneth Bindas and seven of his students from Kent State University drew upon a wide variety of government documents, oral histories, and other primary sources to place the construction of the Reserve within the larger context of modernism and the emerging 1930s movements whose goals were to protect and open up natural areas. As a case study, the construction of the Virginia Kendall Reserve provides an example of the design, manipulation, and construction used to create so many Civilian Conservation Corps environments.
The book is filled with historic photographs showing the process of construction, and contemporary photos by Marina Vladova visually detail the lush nature that families, hikers, runners, bikers, and naturalists enjoy today.
Mrs. Henry Ford
"Pick a good model and stay with it," Henry Ford once said. No, he was not talking about cars; he was talking about marriage. Was Clara Bryant Ford a "good model"? Her husband of fifty-nine years seems to have thought so. He called her "The Believer," and indeed Clara's unwavering support of Henry's pursuits and her patient tolerance of the quirks and obsessions that accompanied her husband's genius made it possible for him to change the world. In telling the story of Clara Ford, author Ford Bryan also charts the course of the growing automobile industry and the life of the enigmatic man at its helm. But the book's heart is Clara herself—daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother; cook, gardener, and dancer; modest philanthropist and quiet role model. Clara is newly revealed in accounts and documents gleaned from personal papers, oral histories, and archival material never made public until now. These include receipts and recipes, diaries and genealogies, and 175 photographs.
Madison and the New Left in the Sixties
As the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union escalated in the 1950s and 1960s, the federal government directed billions of dollars to American universities to promote higher enrollments, studies of foreign languages and cultures, and, especially, scientific research. In Cold War University, Matthew Levin traces the paradox that developed: higher education became increasingly enmeshed in the Cold War struggle even as university campuses became centers of opposition to Cold War policies. The partnerships between the federal government and major research universities sparked a campus backlash that provided the foundation, Levin argues, for much of the student dissent that followed. At the University of Wisconsin in Madison, one of the hubs of student political activism in the 1950s and 1960s, the protests reached their flashpoint with the 1967 demonstrations against campus recruiters from Dow Chemical, the manufacturers of napalm. Levin documents the development of student political organizations in Madison in the 1950s and the emergence of a mass movement in the decade that followed, adding texture to the history of national youth protests of the time. He shows how the University of Wisconsin tolerated political dissent even at the height of McCarthyism, an era named for Wisconsin's own virulently anti-Communist senator, and charts the emergence of an intellectual community of students and professors that encouraged new directions in radical politics. Some of the events in Madison—especially the 1966 draft protests, the 1967 sit-in against Dow Chemical, and the 1970 Sterling Hall bombing—have become part of the fabric of "The Sixties," touchstones in an era that continues to resonate in contemporary culture and politics.
Ernie Goodman, Detroit, and the Struggle for Labor and Civil Rights
In a working life that spanned half a century, Ernie Goodman was one of the nation’s preeminent defense attorneys for workers and the militant poor. His remarkable career put him at the center of the struggle for social justice in the twentieth century, from the sit-down strikes of the 1930s to the Red Scare of the 1950s to the freedom struggles, anti-war demonstrations, and ghetto rebellions of the 1960s and 1970s. The Color of Law: Ernie Goodman, Detroit, and the Struggle for Labor and Civil Rights traces Goodman’s journey through these tumultuous events and highlights the many moments when changing perceptions of social justice clashed with legal precedent. Authors Steve Babson, Dave Riddle, and David Elsila tell Goodman’s life story, beginning with his formative years as the son of immigrant parents in Detroit’s Jewish ghetto, to his early ambitions as a corporate lawyer, and his conversion to socialism and labor law during the Great Depression. From Detroit to Mississippi, Goodman saw police and other officials giving the “color of law” to actions that stifled freedom of speech and nullified the rights of workers and minorities. The authors highlight Goodman’s landmark cases in defense of labor and civil rights and examine the complex relationships he developed along the way with individuals like Supreme Court Justice and former Michigan governor Frank Murphy, UAW president Walter Reuther, Detroit mayor Coleman Young, and congressman George Crockett. Drawing from a rich collection of letters, oral histories, court records, and press accounts, the authors re-create the compelling story of Goodman’s life. The Color of Law demonstrates that the abuse of power is non-partisan and that individuals who oppose injustice can change the course of events. For additional information, reviews, photos, and events, please see erniegoodman.com.
Gender, Trauma, and Uncanny Films in the Weimar Republic
In The Colored Car, Jean Alicia Elster, author of the award-winning Who's Jim Hines?, follows another member of the Ford family coming of age in Depression-era Detroit. In the hot summer of 1937, twelve-year-old Patsy takes care of her three younger sisters and helps her mother put up fresh fruits and vegetables in the family's summer kitchen, adjacent to the wood yard that her father, Douglas Ford, owns. Times are tough, and Patsy's mother, May Ford, helps neighborhood families by sharing the food that she preserves. But May's decision to take a break from canning to take her daughters for a visit to their grandmother's home in Clarksville, Tennessee, sets in motion a series of events that prove to be life-changing for Patsy. After boarding the first-class train car at Michigan Central Station in Detroit and riding comfortably to Cincinnati, Patsy is shocked when her family is led from their seats to change cars. In the dirty, cramped "colored car," Patsy finds that the life she has known in Detroit is very different from life down south, and she can hardly get the experience out of her mind when she returns home-like the soot stain on her finely made dress or the smear on the quilt squares her grandmother taught her to sew. As summer wears on, Patsy must find a way to understand her experience in the colored car and also deal with the more subtle injustices that her family faces in Detroit. By the end of the story, Patsy will never see things the same way that she did before. Elster's engaging narrative illustrates the personal impact of segregation and discrimination and reveals powerful glimpses of everyday life in 1930's Detroit. For young readers interested in American history, The Colored Car is engrossing and informative reading.
The Growth of Seasonal and Retirement Homes in Northern Wisconsin
Scenic rural communities across the nation and around the world have been transformed as they have shifted away from extractive industries such as agriculture, mining, and forestry and toward recreation-based development relying on tourism, vacation homes, and retirees. These communities have built new economies and identities based on local natural resources and are highly dependent on the natural environment. With these changes have come new questions: Do retirees and seasonal residents fit into their new surroundings? Do longtime and new residents share the same values and visions for the future? Do diverse community members disagree about how to manage their forest and water resources?
Condos in the Woods explores how these issues are reshaping community structure, employment, and inhabitants’ attitudes toward their environment in the Northwoods. Looking at trends from the 1970s to the present, this work moves from the national scale to the Pine Barrens region in northwestern Wisconsin and examines the approaches of residents to the management of their natural resources. At the heart of this story, the authors find that despite the diverse makeup of such communities, residents share many common goals and values and display more successful integration than previously expected.