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Great Lakes Books Series

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Michigan's Early Military Forces

A Roster and History of Troops Activated Prior to the American Civil War

Le Roy Barnett

Michigan has long been proud of its military service, but many of its early accomplishments are unknown to most of the state's residents. This book fills the void in our knowledge by bringing together an impressive array of information on Michigan's armed forces from 1775 to 1860. Here we find the name rank, unit, and dates of service for all known Michigan men who served in the Revolutionary War, Indian Wars, War of 1812, Black Hawk War, Toledo War, Patriot War, and the Mexican-American War. Accompanying histories explain the reasons behind the conflicts and include maps showing all theaters of operations for Michigan troops. The in-depth accounts of the state's role in these hostilities often serve as the first serious and comprehensive studies of the contributions made by its citizens in these events. Ultimately, this book stands as a fitting memorial to the many men who took up arms on behalf of Michigan.

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"Old Slow Town"

Detroit during the Civil War

Paul Taylor

Though it was located far away from Southern battlefields, Detroit churned with unrest during the American Civil War. The city's population, including a large German and Irish immigrant community, mostly aligned with anti-war Democrats while the rest of the state stood with the pro-Lincoln Republicans. The virulently anti-Lincoln and anti-Black Detroit Free Press fanned the city's flames with provocative coverage of events. In "Old Slow Town": Detroit during the Civil War, award-winning author Paul Taylor contends that the anger within Detroit's diverse political and ethnic communities over questions about the war's purpose and its conduct nearly tore the city in two. Taylor charts Civil War­­-era Detroit's evolution from a quiet but growing industrial city (derisively called "old slow town" by some visitors) to a center of political contention and controversy. In eight chapters, Taylor details topics including the pre-war ethnic and commercial development of the city, fear and suspicion of "secret societies," issues of race, gender, and economic strife during the war, Detroit's response to its soldiers' needs, and celebration and remembrance at the conclusion of the conflict. Through Taylor's use of overlooked military correspondence from the National Archives, soldier and civilian diaries and letters, period articles and editorials from Detroit's Civil War-era newspapers; and a fresh, judicious synthesis of secondary sources, Paul Taylor presents the captivating story of Detroit's Civil War history. Until now, why events occurred as they did in Detroit during the Civil War and what life was like for its residents has only been touched upon in any number of general histories. Readers interested in American history, Civil War history, or the ethnic history of Detroit will appreciate the full picture of the time period Taylor presents in "Old Slow Town."

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The Political Activities of Detroit Clubwomen in the 1920s

A Challenge and a Promise

Jayne Morris-Crowther

In the early 1900s, Detroit's clubwomen successfully lobbied for issues like creating playgrounds for children, building public baths, raising the age for child workers, and reforming the school board and city charter. But when they won the vote in 1918, Detroit's clubwomen, both black and white, were eager to incite even greater change. In the 1920s, they fought to influence public policy at the municipal and state level, while contending with partisan politics, city politics, and the media, which often portrayed them as silly and incompetent. In this fascinating volume, author Jayne Morris-Crowther examines the unique civic engagement of these women who considered their commitment to the city of Detroit both a challenge and a promise. By the 1920s, there were eight African American clubs in the city (Willing Workers, Detroit Study Club, Lydian Association, In As Much Circle of Kings Daughters, Labor of Love Circle of Kings Daughters, West Side Art and Literary Club, Altar Society of the Second Baptist Church, and the Earnest Workers of the Second Baptist Church); in 1921, they joined together under the Detroit Association of Colored Women's Clubs. Nearly 15,000 mostly white clubwomen were represented by the Detroit Federation of Women's Clubs, which was formed in 1895 by the unification of the Detroit Review Club, Twentieth Century Club, Detroit Woman's Club, Woman's Historical Club, Clio Club, Wednesday History Club, Hypathia, and Zatema Club. Morris-Crowther begins by investigating the roots of the clubs in pre-suffrage Detroit and charts their growing power. She goes on to consider the women's work in three areas-Policies That Affect Women and Children, Protecting the Home against Enemies, and Home as Part of the Urban Environment-and considers the numerous challenges they faced in The Limits of Enfranchised Citizens. An appendix contains the 1926 Directory of the Detroit Federation of Women's Clubs. In the end, Morris-Crowther shows that Detroit's clubwomen pioneered new lobbying techniques like personal interviews, and used political education in savvy ways to bring politics to the community level. This volume will be interesting reading for enthusiasts of Detroit history and readers wanting to learn more about women and politics of the 1920s.

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Race, Religion, and the Pulpit

Rev. Robert L. Bradby and the Making of Urban Detroit

Julia Marie Robinson

During the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to the cities of the Northeast, Midwest, and West, the local black church was essential in the making and reshaping of urban areas. In Detroit, there was one church and one minister in particular that demonstrated this power of the pulpit—Second Baptist Church of Detroit (“Second,” as many members called it) and its nineteenth pastor, the Reverend Robert L. Bradby. In Race, Religion, and the Pulpit: Rev. Robert L. Bradby and the Making of Urban Detroit, author Julia Marie Robinson explores how Bradby’s church became the catalyst for economic empowerment, community building, and the formation of an urban African American working class in Detroit. Robinson begins by examining Reverend Bradby’s formative years in Ontario, Canada; his rise to prominence as a pastor and community leader at Second Baptist in Detroit; and the sociohistorical context of his work in the early years of the Great Migration. She goes on to investigate the sometimes surprising nature of relationships between Second Baptist, its members, and prominent white elites in Detroit, including Bradby’s close relationship to Ford Motor Company and Henry Ford. Finally, Robinson details Bradby’s efforts as a “race leader” and activist, roles that were tied directly to his theology. She looks at the parts the minister played in such high-profile events as the organizing of Detroit’s NAACP chapter, the Ossian Sweet trial of the mid-1920s, the Scottsboro Boys trials in the 1930s, and the controversial rise of the United Auto Workers in Detroit in the 1940s. Race, Religion, and the Pulpit presents a full and nuanced picture of Bradby’s life that has so far been missing from the scholarly record. Readers interested in the intersections of race and religion in American history, as well as anyone with ties to Detroit’s Second Baptist Church, will appreciate this thorough volume.

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Redevelopment and Race

Planning a Finer City in Postwar Detroit

June Manning Thomas

In the decades following World War II, professional city planners in Detroit made a concerted effort to halt the city's physical and economic decline. Their successes included an award-winning master plan, a number of laudable redevelopment projects, and exemplary planning leadership in the city and the nation. Yet despite their efforts, Detroit was rapidly transforming into a notorious symbol of urban decay. In Redevelopment and Race: Planning a Finer City in Postwar Detroit, June Manning Thomas takes a look at what went wrong, demonstrating how and why government programs were ineffective and even destructive to community needs. In confronting issues like housing shortages, blight in older areas, and changing economic conditions, Detroit's city planners worked during the urban renewal era without much consideration for low-income and African American residents, and their efforts to stabilize racially mixed neighborhoods faltered as well. Steady declines in industrial prowess and the constant decentralization of white residents counteracted planners' efforts to rebuild the city. Among the issues Thomas discusses in this volume are the harmful impacts of Detroit's highways, the mixed record of urban renewal projects like Lafayette Park, the effects of the 1967 riots on Detroit's ability to plan, the city-building strategies of Coleman Young (the city's first black mayor) and his mayoral successors, and the evolution of Detroit's federally designated Empowerment Zone. Examining the city she knew first as an undergraduate student at Michigan State University and later as a scholar and planner, Thomas ultimately argues for a different approach to traditional planning that places social justice, equity, and community ahead of purely physical and economic objectives. Redevelopment and Race was originally published in 1997 and was given the Paul Davidoff Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning in 1999. Students and teachers of urban planning will be grateful for this re-release. A new postscript offers insights into changes since 1997.

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Riding the Roller Coaster

A History of the Chrysler Corporation

Charles K. Hyde

From the Chrysler Six of 1924 to the front-wheel-drive vehicles of the 70s and 80s to the minivan, Chrysler boasts an impressive list of technological "firsts." But even though the company has catered well to a variety of consumers, it has come to the brink of financial ruin more than once in its seventy-five-year history. How Chrysler has achieved monumental success and then managed colossal failure and sharp recovery is explained in Riding the Roller Coaster, a lively, unprecedented look at a major force in the American automobile industry since 1925. Charles Hyde tells the intriguing story behind Chrysler-its products, people, and performance over time-with particular focus on the company's management. He offers a lens through which the reader can view the U.S. auto industry from the perspective of the smallest of the automakers who, along with Ford and General Motors, make up the "Big Three." The book covers Walter P. Chrysler's life and automotive career before 1925, when he founded the Chrysler Corporation, to 1998, when it merged with Daimler-Benz. Chrysler made a late entrance into the industry in 1925 when it emerged from Chalmers and Maxwell, and further grew when it absorbed Dodge Brothers and American Motors Corporation. The author traces this journey, explaining the company's leadership in automotive engineering, its styling successes and failures, its changing management, and its activities from auto racing to defense production to real estate. Throughout, the colorful personalities of its leaders-including Chrysler himself and Lee Iacocca-emerge as strong forces in the company's development, imparting a risk-taking mentality that gave the company its verve. How Chrysler has achieved monumental success and then managed colossal failure and sharp recovery is explained in Riding the Roller Coaster, a lively, unprecedented look at a major force in the American automobile industry since 1925. Charles Hyde tells the intriguing story behind Chrysler-its products, people, and performance over time-with particular focus on the company's management. He offers a lens through which the reader can view the U.S. auto industry from the perspective of the smallest of the automakers who, along with Ford and General Motors, make up the "Big Three." The book covers Walter P. Chrysler's life and automotive career before 1925, when he founded the Chrysler Corporation, to 1998, when it merged with Daimler-Benz. Chrysler made a late entrance into the industry in 1925 when it emerged from Chalmers and Maxwell, and further grew when it absorbed Dodge Brothers and American Motors Corporation. The author traces this journey, explaining the company's leadership in automotive engineering, its styling successes and failures, its changing management, and its activities from auto racing to defense production to real estate. Throughout, the colorful personalities of its leaders-including Chrysler himself and Lee Iacocca-emerge as strong forces in the company's development, imparting a risk-taking mentality that gave the company its verve.

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A Sailor's Logbook

A Season Aboard Great Lakes Freighters

Mark L. Thompson

In this firsthand account of life aboard the ships of the Great Lakes, Mark Thompson weaves together the threads of a story that relives a centuries-old tradition. Thompson began his logbook after he reported for duty aboard the Calcite II at Fraser Shipyard in Superior, Wisconsin, for the 1996 shipping season. A Sailor's Logbook is the first such book to chronicle a sailor's life at the end of the twentieth century. Not just a detailing of weather, cargo, and crew relations, A Sailor's Logbook is also an account of the daily lives of a diverse group of crewmembers as they share their sailing knowledge, "sea stories," and the many memories that accompany the pictures. Although there are ample resources in museums, archival collections, and company files regarding statistical logbook information, A Sailor's Logbook details the intricacies of daily life on a Great Lakes freighter. Thompson navigates the reader through the waters of the Great Lakes and his own life in this very special narrative.

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Storied Independent Automakers

Nash, Hudson, and American Motors

Charles K. Hyde

With roots extending back to the first decade of the twentieth century, Nash Motor Company and the Hudson Motor Car Company managed to compete and even prosper as independent producers until they merged in 1954 to form the American Motors Company, which itself remained independent until it was bought in 1987 by the Chrysler Corporation. In Storied Independent Automakers, renowned automotive scholar Charles K. Hyde argues that these companies, while so far neglected by auto history scholars, made notable contributions to automotive engineering and styling and were an important part of the American automobile industry. Hyde investigates how the relatively small corporations struggled in a postwar marketplace increasingly dominated by the giant firms of Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, which benefited from economies of scale in styling, engineering, tooling, marketing, and sales. He examines the innovations that kept the independents' products distinctive from those of the Big Three and allowed them to survive and sometimes prosper against their larger competitors. Hyde also focuses on the visionary leaders who managed the companies, including Charles Nash, Roy D. Chapin, Howard Coffin, George Mason, George Romney, and Roy D. Chapin Jr., who have been largely unexamined by other scholars. Finally, Hyde analyzes the ultimate failure of the American Motors Company and the legacy it left for carmakers and consumers today. Storied Independent Automakers is based on extensive research in archival collections generated by the three companies. Residing in large part in the DaimlerChrysler Corporate Collection, these sources have been seldom tapped by other scholars before this volume. Auto historians and readers interested in business history will enjoy Storied Independent Automakers.

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To Keep the South Manitou Light

Anna Egan Smucker

Set on South Manitou Island in Lake Michigan during the fall of 1871, To Keep the South Manitou Light tells the fictional tale of a twelve-year-old girl named Jessie, whose family has been taking care of the lighthouse on the island for generations. Jessie’s mother has kept the light by herself since Jessie’s grandfather died of a heart attack ten days before the story begins. Afraid her family will lose the lighthouse, Jessie decides not to mail her mother’s letter informing the Lighthouse Service of her grandfather’s death and instead puts it in one of her mother’s canning jars and tosses it into the lake. Later, as a fierce November ice storm hits the island, the repercussions of this action will not only teach Jessie about honor and responsibility but will also give her hard-earned insight into what it means to be brave. Written for children between the ages of 8 and 12, To Keep the South Manitou Light provides regional history along with everyday lessons, all while engrossing young readers in an exciting story.

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Young Henry Ford

A Picture History of the First Forty Years

by Sidney Olson

Young Henry Ford is a visual and textual presentation of the first forty years of Henry Ford—an American farm boy who became one of the greatest manufacturers of modern times and profoundly impacted the habits of American life. In Young Henry Ford, Sidney Olson dispels some of the myths attached to this automobile legend, going beyond the Henry Ford of mass production and the five-dollar day, and offers a more intimate understanding of Henry Ford and the time he lived in. Through hundreds of restored photographs, including some of Ford's own taken with his first camera, Young Henry Ford revisits an America now gone—of long days on the farm, travel by horse and buggy, and one-room schoolhouses. Some of the rare illustrations include the first picture of Henry Ford, photos from Edsel's childhood, snapshots of the interior and exterior of the Ford homestead, Clara and Henry's wedding invitation, and photos of the early stages of the first automobile.

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