Right in Michigan's Grassroots: From the KKK to the Michigan Militia

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9780472071593: Right in Michigan's Grassroots: From the KKK to the Michigan Militia

"A real contribution to Michigan history that gets to the root of the movements in twentieth-century American history that upon reflection can bring a certain discomfort and unease."
---Francis X. Blouin, Director of the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

Throughout the twentieth century, Michigan became home to nearly every political movement in America that emerged from the grassroots. Citizens organized on behalf of concerns on the "left," on the "right," and in the "middle of the road." Right in Michigan's Grassroots: From the KKK to the Michigan Militia is about the people who supported movements that others, then and later, would denounce as disgraceful---members of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s, the followers of Father Charles Coughlin in the 1930s, anti-Communists and the John Birch Society in the post–World War II era, and the members of the Michigan Militia who first appeared in the 1990s.

The book explores the complex historical circumstances in Michigan that prompted the emergence of these organizations and led everyday men and women to head off, despite ridicule or condemnation, with plans unsanctioned and tactics unorthodox, variously brandishing weapons of intimidation, discrimination, fearmongering, and terror. Drawing heavily on primary sources, including the organizations' files and interviews with some of their leaders and surviving members, JoEllen Vinyard provides a far more complete portrait of these well-known extremist groups than has ever been available.

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About the Author:

JoEllen McNergney Vinyard is Professor of History at Eastern Michigan University. She is author of a number of books on Michigan history, including For Faith and Fortune: The Education of Catholic Immigrants in Detroit, 1805–1925.


"[Right in Michigan's Grassroots] is among the first books to so thoroughly expose the extent of Klan activity throughout the state in the 1920s."
—Loraine Anderson, Traverse City Record-Eagle

(Loraine Anderson Traverse City Record-Eagle 2011-08-29)

"If someone were to read only one book concerning nativist political extremism, Right in Michigan's Grassroots should be their choice."
—C. C. Lovett, Emporia State University, Choice  (Recommended as 'Essential')

(C. C. Lovett Choice 2012-01-01)

"In sum, Vinyard has written a terrific, well-crafted study that contains a number of intriguing findings. The author is to be commended for her careful attention to nuance; this book could easily be assigned in classes on social movements, deviance, or political extremism." 
—Joshua D. Freilich, City University of New York, The Michigan Historical Review
(Joshua D. Freilich The Michigan Historical Review)

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title (Choice 2012-11-13)

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Vinyard, JoEllen McNergney
Published by University of Michigan Press/Regional
ISBN 10: 0472071599 ISBN 13: 9780472071593
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