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Michigan State University Press

Michigan State University Press

Website: http://www.msupress.msu.edu/

Michigan State University Press, the scholarly publishing arm of Michigan State University, helps to carry out the institution's land-grant mission through the publication of research and intellectual inquiry that make significant contributions to scholarship in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. General and specialized works include African studies; business and business history; environmental affairs and human ecology; literature, literary criticism, and poetry; Native American studies; North American history with an emphasis on the upper Midwest and the Great Lakes region; medieval studies; rhetoric and public affairs.


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Michigan State University Press

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Dispersing the Ghetto

The Relocation of Jewish Immigrants Across America

In the early 20th century, the population of New York City’s Lower East Side swelled with vast numbers of eastern European Jewish immigrants. The tenements, whose inhabitants faced poverty and frequent unemployment, provoked the hostile attention of immigration restrictionists, many of whom disdained Jews, racial minorities, and foreigners as inferior. Accordingly, they aimed to stifle the growth of dense ethnic settlements by curtailing immigration. 
     Dispersing the Ghetto is the first book to describe in detail an important but little-known chapter in American immigration history, that of the Industrial Removal Office (IRO), founded in 1901. Established American Jews—arrivals from the German states only a generation before—felt vulnerable. They feared their security was at risk owing to the rising tide of Russian Jews on the east coast. German American Jews believed they too might become the objects of anti-Semitic scorn, which would be disastrous for German and Russian Jews alike if it were allowed to shape public policy. As a defensive measure to undercut the immigration restrictionist movement, American Jews of German origin established the Industrial Removal Office to promote the relocation of the immigrants to the towns and cities of the nation’s interior. Until the onset of World War I, the IRO directed the resettlement of Jewish immigrants from New York and other port cities to hundreds of communities nationwide. 
     Drawing on a variety of sources, including the IRO archive, first-person accounts of resettlement, local records, and the Jewish press, Glazier recounts the operation of the IRO and the complex relationship between two sets of Jewish immigrants.

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Diverse Pathways

Race and the Incorporation of Black, White, and Arab-Origin Africans in the United States

Kevin J. A. Thomas

Africans are among the fastest-growing immigrant groups in the United States. Although they are racially and ethnically diverse, few studies have examined how these differences affect their patterns of incorporation into society. This book is the first to highlight the role of race and ethnicity, Arab ethnicity in particular, in shaping the experiences of African immigrants. It demonstrates that American conceptions of race result in significant inequalities in the ways in which African immigrants are socially integrated. Thomas argues that suggestions that Black Africans are model-minorities who have overcome the barriers of race are misleading, showing that Black and Arab-ethnicity Africans systematically experience less favorable socioeconomic outcomes than their White African counterparts. Overall, the book makes three critical arguments. First, historical and contemporary constructions of race have important implications for understanding the dynamics of African immigration and settlement in the United States. Second, there are significant racial inequalities in the social and economic incorporation of contemporary African immigrants. Finally, Arab ethnicity has additional implications for understanding intra-racial disparities in incorporation among contemporary African immigrants. In general, these arguments are foundational for understanding the diversity of African immigrant experiences.

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Document of Expectations

Devon Abbott Mihesuah

When Hopi/White Mountain Apache anthropologist Tony M. Smokerise is found murdered in his office at Central Highlands University, the task of solving the crime falls to jaded Choctaw detective Monique Blue Hawk and her partner Charles T. Clarke. A seemingly tolerant and amicable office of higher education, the university, Monique soon learns, harbors parties determined to destroy the careers of Tony and his best friend, the volatile Oglala anthropologist Roxanne Badger. In the course of her investigation, Monique discovers that the scholars who control Tony’s department are also overseeing the excavation of a centuries-old tribal burial site that was uncovered during the construction of a freeway. Tony’s role in the project, she realizes, might be the key to identifying his murderer. This virtuosic mystery novel explores, in engrossing detail, the complex motives for a killing within the sometimes furtive and hermetic setting of academia.

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Double V

the civil rights struggle of the Tuskegee Airmen

Lawrence P. Scott

On April 12, 1945, the United States Army Air Force arrested 101 of its African American officers. They were charged with disobeying a direct order from a superior officer—a charge that could carry the death penalty upon conviction. They were accused of refusing to sign an order that would have placed them in segregated housing and recreational facilities. Their plight was virtually ignored by the press at the time, and books written about the subject did not detail the struggle these aviators underwent to win recognition of their civil rights. 
     The central theme of Double V is the promise held out to African American military personnel that service in World War II would deliver to them a double victory—a "double V"—over tyranny abroad and racial prejudice at home. The book's authors, Lawrence P. Scott and William M. Womack Sr., chronicle for the first time, in detail, one of America's most dramatic failures to deliver on that promise. In the course of their narrative, the authors demonstrate how the Tuskegee airmen suffered as second-class citizens while risking their lives to serve their country. Among the contributions made by this work is a detailed examination of how 101 Tuskegee airmen, by refusing to live in segregated quarters, triggered on e of the most significant judicial proceedings in U.S. military history. Double V uses oral accounts and heretofore unused government documents to portray this little-known struggle by one of America's most celebrated flying units. 
     In addition to providing background material about African American aviators before World War II. the authors also demonstrate how the Tuskegee airmen's struggle foretold dilemmas faced by the civil rights movement in the second half of the 20th century. Double V is destined to become an important contribution in the rapidly growing body of civil rights literature.

 

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Dragonfly Dance

Denise K. Lajimodiere

Dragonfly Dance is a collection of poems remarkable for their candor and sense of catharsis. Writing from the vantage point of an American Indian women, Denise Lajimodiere opens a door into the lives of Native girls and women. Her poems often reflect the deep tensions between Native culture and white culture.
     Reflected in Lajimodiere's poems, life is sometimes beautiful but rarely easy. "The Necklace," the narrator details how her mother repaired a favorite beaded necklace, "her arthritic fingers patiently / threading beads / on the long thin needle, weaving / night after night." When the necklace is finally repaired, she wears it to school where

At recess a White boy
ran by, yanked
it off my neck and threw it.
I watched as it ascended
high above the blacktop,
the beads glittered, scattering their light,
a rainbow against gray skies.

     Unadorned, direct, and often raw, these riveting poems sear their way into our imaginations, inviting us into a world we might never have known. We are richer for the knowledge.

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The Eagle Returns

The Legal History of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

Matthew L.M. Fletcher

An absorbing and comprehensive survey, The Eagle Returns: The Legal History of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians shows a group bound by kinship,geography, and language, struggling to reestablish their right to self-governance. Hailing from northwest Lower Michigan, the Grand Traverse Band has become a well-known national leader in advancing Indian treaty rights, gaming, and land rights, while simultaneously creating and developing a nationally honored indigenous tribal justice system. This book will serve as a valuable reference for policymakers, lawyers, and Indian people who want to explore how federal Indian law and policy drove an Anishinaabe community to the brink of legal extinction, how non-Indian economic and political interests conspired to eradicate the community’s self-sufficiency, and how Indian people fought to preserve their culture, laws, traditions, governance, and language.

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Early encounters--Native Americans and Europeans in New England

from the papers of W. Sears Nickerson

Warren Sears Nickerson

Early Encounters contains a selection of nineteen essays from the papers of prominent New England historian, antiquarian, and genealogist Warren Sears Nickerson (1880-1966). This extensive study of his own family ties to the Mayflower, and his exhaustive investigation of the first contacts between Europeans and Native Americans, in what is today New England, made him an unquestioned authority in both fields. 
     The research upon which the text of Early Encounters is based occurred between the 1920s and the 1950s. Each of Nickerson’s works included in this carefully edited volume is placed in its context by Delores Bird Carpenter; she provides the reader with a wealth of useful background information about each essay’s origin, as well as Nickerson’s reasons for undertaking the research. Material is arranged thematically: the arrival of the Mayflower; conflicts between Europeans and Native Americans; and other topics related to the history and legends of early European settlement on Cape Cod. Early Encounters is a thoughtfully researched, readable book that presents a rich and varied account of life in colonial New England.

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Economy and the Future

A Crisis of Faith

A monster stalks the earth—a sluggish, craven, dumb beast that takes fright at the slightest noise and starts at the sight of its own shadow. This monster is the market. The shadow it fears is cast by a light that comes from the future: the Keynesian crisis of expectations. It is this same light that causes the world’s leaders to tremble before the beast. They tremble, Jean-Pierre Dupuy says, because they have lost faith in the future. What Dupuy calls Economy has degenerated today into a mad spectacle of unrestrained consumption and speculation. But in its positive form—a truly political economy in which politics, not economics, is predominant—Economy creates not only a sense of trust and confidence but also a belief in the open-endedness of the future without which capitalism cannot function. In this devastating and counterintuitive indictment of the hegemonic pretensions of neoclassical economic theory, Dupuy argues that the immutable and eternal decision of God has been replaced with the unpredictable and capricious judgment of the crowd. The future of mankind will therefore depend on whether it can see through the blindness of orthodox economic thinking.

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The edge of the woods

Iroquoia, 1534-1701

Jon Parmenter

Drawing on archival and published documents in several languages, archeological data, and Iroquois oral traditions, The Edge of the Woods explores the ways in which spatial mobility represented the geographic expression of Iroquois social, political, and economic priorities. By reconstructing the late precolonial Iroquois settlement landscape and the paths of human mobility that constructed and sustained it, Jon Parmenter challenges the persistent association between Iroquois 'locality' and Iroquois 'culture,' and more fully maps the extended terrain of physical presence and social activity that Iroquois people inhabited. Studying patterns of movement through and between the multiple localities in Iroquois space, the book offers a new understanding of Iroquois peoplehood during this period. According to Parmenter, Iroquois identities adapted, and even strengthened, as the very shape of Iroquois homelands changed dramatically during the seventeenth century.

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Eight Mile High

In these linked stories, the constants are the places—from Eight Mile High, the local high school, to Eight Miles High, the local bar; from The Clock, a restaurant that never closes, to Stan’s, a store that sells misfit clothes. Daniels’s characters wander Detroit, a world of concrete, where even a small strip of greenery becomes a hideout for mystery and mayhem. Even when they leave town—to Scout camp, or Washington, DC, or the mythical Up North, they take with them  their hardscrabble working-class sensibilities and their determination to do what they must do to get by. With a survival instinct that includes a healthy dose of humor, Daniels’s characters navigate work and love, change and loss, the best they can. These characters don’t have the luxury of feeling sorry for themselves, even when they stumble. They dust themselves off and head back into the ring with another rope-a-dope wisecrack. These stories seem to suggest that we are always coming of age, becoming, trying to figure out what it means to be an adult in this world, attempting to figure out a way to forgive ourselves for not measuring up to our own expectations of what it means to lead a successful, happy life.

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