Michigan and the Great Lakes


A History of Explorers, Entrepreneurs, and Everyday People
Roger L. Rosentreter

An engaging new history of the Great Lakes State


The history of Michigan is a fascinating story of breathtaking geography enriched by an abundant water supply, of bold fur traders and missionaries who developed settlements that grew into major cities, of ingenious entrepreneurs who established thriving industries, and of celebrated cultural icons like the Motown sound. It is also the story of the exploitation of Native Americans, racial discord that resulted in a devastating riot, and ongoing tensions between employers and unions. Michigan: A History of Explorers, Entrepreneurs, and Everyday People recounts this colorful past and the significant role the state has played in shaping the United States. Well-researched and engagingly written, the book spans from Michigan’s geologic formation to important 21st-century developments in a concise but detailed chronicle that will appeal to general readers, scholars, and students interested in Michigan’s past, present, and future.

Roger L. Rosentreter is Visiting Professor in the Department of History at Michigan State University, where he specializes in the history of the U.S. Civil War. He is the former editor of Michigan History magazine and author of Seeking Lincoln in Michigan.

The Nature Conservancy: http://www.nature.org/

Praise / Awards

  • “Though Michigan is a large and complex state, it has long lacked an interesting and readable one volume history. Now Roger Rosentreter, a longtime history professor at Michigan State University, has remedied that absence with his Michigan: A History of Explorers, Entrepreneurs, and Everyday People (University of Michigan Press...). Though perhaps designed as a textbook, [this book] is readable and richly illustrated enough to be of general interest, and short enough—381 pages—not to be intimidating. It is the only state history that includes Michigan’s rich cultural heritage from the time of the French explorers who scrambled up the Detroit riverbank in 1701 up to the present.”
    —Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio and the Toledo Blade


  • "In this volume, Roger Rosentreter gives readers the benefit of his over 30 years living with Michigan's history—as editor of Michigan History magazine, author of several publications, and professor of history at Michigan State University. Michigan, A History of Explorers, Entrepreneurs, and Everyday People is a valuable contribution, underscoring the important point that the history of a state is not by definition provincial; it can also inform our understanding of the history of the nation... This well-written account will have a wide audience, from casual readers to the scholar."
    --Michigan Historical Review

Look Inside

Table of Contents


1. First residents-1
2. The French Presence-11
3. The British Take Control-28
4. Michigan Becomes American-47
5. Settling the "Land of Ills"-67
6. Quest for Statehood-88
7. Building a State-104
8. The Fight against Slavery-117
9. The Civil War-132
10. Logging the Forests-156
11. Mining Michigan-174
12. Turn of the Century-194
13. Birth of the Automobile-214
14. World War I-236
15. The Raucous Twenties- 256
16. The Great Depression and Growth of Labor-274
17. World War II-297
18. Postwar Michigan and the Turbulent 1960s-319

19. 1970s and Beyond-344

Photo Credits-435

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 448pp.
  • 108 B&W Illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2013
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-05190-8

Add to Cart
  • $29.95 U.S.

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