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  • All our yesterdays: a brief history of Detroit

    All Our Yesterdays is an accurate account based on extensive historical research when initially published in 1969, and is written in such a style as to make interesting and historical snapshot of the history of the city of Detroit.

    The authors recount the founding of the town by the French, control by the British, and growth as an American city. These episodes are recounted in the words and deeds of the people who lived and worked here, men like Judge Woodward, Father Gabriel Richard, a…

  • Working detroit: the making of a union town

    Babson recounts Detroit's odyssey from a bulwark of the "open shop" to the nation's foremost "union town." Through words and pictures, Working Detroit documents the events in the city's ongoing struggle to build an industrial society that is both prosperous and humane.

    Babson begins his account in 1848 when Detroit has just entered the industrial era. He weaves the broader historical realties, such as Red Scare, World War, and economic depression into his account, tracing the ebb and flow …

  • Maurice Sugar: law, labor, and the left in Detroit, 1912-1950

    It was Maurice Sugar, labor activist and lawyer for the United Auto Workers, who played a key role in guiding the newly-formed union through the treacherous legal terrain obstructing its development in the 1930s. He orchestrated the injunction hearings on the Dodge Main strike and defended the legality of the sit-down tactic. As the UAW's General Council, he wrote the union's constitution in 1939, a model of democratic thinking. Sugar worked with George Addes, UAW Secretary-Treasurer, to nurture…

  • Independent man: the life of Senator James Couzens

    First published in 1958 by Charles Scribner’s Sons, Independent Man is the only book-length biography of one of Michigan’s most remarkable men. His many careers embraced both the business and political spheres.

    Couzens was a prominent businessman who helped shape Ford Motor Company, but he left the company when he and Henry Ford clashed over politics. Upon leaving Ford, Couzens began his political career, first serving as Detroit’s police commissioner. He went on to a controversial term as ma…

  • Songquest: the journals of Great Lakes folklorist Ivan H. Walton

    Ivan H. Walton was a pioneering folklorist who collected the songs and stories of aging sailors living along the shores of the Great Lakes in the 1930s. His collection is unique in the annals of Great Lakes folklore. It began as a search for songs but broadened into a collection of weather signs, shipboard beliefs, greenhorn tales, and stories of the intense rivalry between sailors and the steamboat men who replaced them. Edited by Joe Grimm, Songquest: The Journals of Great Lakes Folklorist Iva…