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Cultural Studies

The Michigan Companion

Web Price: $40.00

The state of Michigan is a varied and diverse region, with a rich history and a fascinating contemporary story. The Michigan Companion features more than 1,200 entries that explore the most significant, best known, and most influential people, places, events, organizations, products, history, and other subjects about Michigan. Each entry includes the subject name, listed under the name by which it is most commonly known, as well as descriptive and historical information. Bold-faced terms within the entry point the reader to other related entries that might be of interest, as do the extensive listings in the subject index.

From the Black Hawk War to the Underground Railroad to the sit-down strikes of the 1930s; from Chief Pontiac to Joe Louis to the White Stripes; from Quincy Mining to Ford Motor Company to Steelcase; from Meijer Gardens to Pewabic Pottery to the Interlochen Center for the Arts; from the Detroit Tigers to the Michigan International Speedway to snowmobiling; from the Great Lakes to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to Tahquamenon Falls; from Better Made Snacks to Hacienda Mexican Foods to pasties; from the Arab International Festival to the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival to the Michigan Brown Trout Festival—these are just a few of the fascinating topics you’ll read about in this monumental and richly illustrated work.

Essential for anyone with an interest in Michigan history and culture.

For a more complete understanding of the coverage offered in The Michigan Companion, please see the Sample Pages.

Notes from the Foreword

Michigan and its rich history have attracted the attention of historians, novelists, and other writers since its discovery by explorers in the 17th century. Interest in the state’s past, its Native Americans, its influential citizens, its institutions, its ethnic populations, its cultural programs, and its achievements has increased sharply in the past half century.

Educators, especially at the college and university levels, long considered local or regional history the domain of amateurs and “history buffs.” But that has changed, and the study of state and regional history is now recognized as legitimate scholarship. Publishers have expanded their focus to include state, regional, and local studies, and in the past 25 years, hundreds of books and articles relating to Michigan have been published by university and private presses. The positive reception of such publications has not only attracted historians and other writers, but has also convinced publishers to solicit manuscripts covering all phases of Michigan history.

The Michigan Companion is a major, long-awaited volume about our state. It is an invaluable research tool for libraries, historical societies, cultural institutions, the media, and general readers with an interest in Michigan history and culture. It will call attention to Michigan’s fascinating past and current events and will encourage historians and writers to expand their studies. Many will find The Michigan Companion a valuable addition to their own libraries.

By Philip P. Mason
Distinguished Professor of History
Wayne State University
Detroit, Michigan


"An effortless, fact-filled read, this fun trivia book is recommended for state-focused collections, past and present inhabitants of the Wolverine State, and curious lay readers."

—Library Journal, Feb '12

"[The Michigan Companion] offers a wealth of general information at a very modest price. The book is a delight to browse, and will be an essential purchase for Michigan public libraries and K-12 schools."

—Choice, May '12

"The Michigan Companion contains more than 1200 entries from 25 contributors representing a variety of history-related fields. The breadth of the subjects—illustrated with vintage and contemporary photographs—ranges from a description of the abolitionist movement to the specific vegetables commonly used in the Upper Peninsula dish known as 'the pasty.'"

—Michigan History Magazine, Mar-Apr '13

"This reference book will answer household debates and spur inspiration for in-state travel. ... This is a Companion that all Michigan residents with any curiosity at all should keep at hand."

—Hour Detroit, May ’12

"This reference for general readers, students, and researchers combines features of an encyclopedia, dictionary, gazetteer, and almanac."

—Reference & Research Book News, Feb '12

"This browsable, informative, and entertaining compendium about the state of Michigan is intended for general readers. ... Information is plentiful about unions, the automobile industry, logging, race relations, geography, the impact of the Great Lakes, sports highlights, and contemporary music and culture. Coverage of Michigan icons is wide-ranging and includes lighthouses, Aretha Franklin, paczkis and pasties, the Michigan eLibrary (MeL), the Stroh Brewery Company, the Upper Peninsula, the Meijer store chain, Detroit’s Heidelberg Project, the Thumb, the Toledo War of 1835-36, and Idlewild. ... The detailed index is over 100 pages long, and serves as a key resource for finding tidbits of information scattered within longer articles. Entries are also linked by cross-references."

—American Reference Books Annual, 2012