True Tales: The Forgotten History of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by Mikel B. Claussen takes the romance out of the stories of northern Michigan. Instead, Claussen weaves a yarn of facts the way only a Yooper can. His style is approachable and very much based on the storytelling of the region, plenty of facts peppered with clever interjections.
These little-known tales are written with the respect and matter-of-fact style that readers will appreciate. While “just the facts” for the most part, with pertinent quotes from relevant materials, the odd authorial interjection catches the reader at prime moments for a laugh, or at least a quick smile.
Deeply informative, but never boring, each chapter covers a different event or person in the often dangerous and sometimes lawless Great Lakes frontier. Maybe Michigan natives especially will be surprised by these stories from the state’s past. Claussen doesn’t focus on the well-known or the glamorous stories, but instead the odd, the little-known, and the people who labored so hard to provide for themselves and their families in an unforgiving and brutal environment.
This is a wonderful volume to better understand the little-understood region that is Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
|Mikel B Classen
|Modern History Press
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