You probably know that Eerdmans publishes fantastic Bible commentaries. You’re likely aware of our respected theological monographs, our groundbreaking ethics texts, and our library of ministry resources. You may even have heard about our award-winning line of international children’s books in translation.
But did you know that we also publish regional interest titles? Art books? Film discussion guides? Poetry? Books on Celtic prayer? . . . physics? . . . Fokker airplanes?
Throughout the month of July, we’re celebrating some of the eclectic titles at the fringes of the Eerdmans list as we highlight a different niche collection each Wednesday.
This week we turn our gaze to Michigan history. Read on to discover five great books . . .
Holland, Michigan: From Dutch Colony to Dynamic City
Robert P. Swierenga
Holland, Michigan: From Dutch Colony to Dynamic City is a fresh and comprehensive history of the city of Holland from its beginnings to the increasingly diverse community it is today.
The three volumes that comprise this monumental work discuss such topics as the coming of the Dutch, the Americans who chose to live among them, schools, grassroots politics, the effects of the world wars and the Great Depression, city institutions, downtown renewal, and social and cultural life in Holland. Robert Swierenga also draws attention to founder Albertus Van Raalte’s particular role in forming the city — everything from planning streets to establishing churches and schools, nurturing industry, and encouraging entrepreneurs.
Lavishly illustrated with nine hundred photographs and based on meticulous research, this book offers the most detailed history of Holland, Michigan, in print.
Young Jerry Ford
Young Jerry Ford: Athlete and Citizen
Hendrik Booraem V
Rare has been the president whose life blended the individual drive that propels one to high office with the social responsibility of being an exemplary person. Gerald R. Ford (1913-2006) was one of those rare men.
In this biography Hendrik Booraem traces the early life of Gerald Ford in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to his high school graduation in 1931, showing how he developed the outlook and ideals that he brought to the White House. Ford’s childhood offers telling glimpses of family and school, sports and recreation, and Western Michigan life in the Jazz Age and the Depression. Amply illustrated with photos from the 1920s and ’30s, Young Jerry Ford shows the 38th President of the United States in a new and colorful light.
“A wonderful early life portrait of my dad growing up in West Michigan during the 1920s. All of the colorful stories and more that Dad told around our dinner table are here. No doubt Grand Rapids put its stamp on the future president that helped shape him to have the character to lead and heal our nation during a unique time in its history. This book is a great read.”
– Steve Ford
Read an excerpt from the book and a blog post by Booraem here on EerdWord.
Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State
Willis F. Dunbar and George S. May
This standard textbook on Michigan history covers the entire scope of the Wolverine State’s historical record — from when humankind first arrived in the area around 9,000 B.C. up to 1995.
The third revised edition of Michigan also examines events since 1980 and draws on new studies to expand and improve its coverage of various ethnic groups, recent political developments, labor and business, and many other topics. It includes photographs, maps, and charts.
Thin Ice: Coming of Age in Grand Rapids
Reinder Van Til and Gordon L. Olson
This unique volume contains twenty-eight fascinating life stories of people — many of whom went on to become famous — who grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The coming-of-age stories in Thin Ice relate a range of experiences both good and bad, including happy memories and heartwarming recollections but also personal traumas, intergenerational and racial conflicts, the strictures of religious belief and practice, the joys and sorrows of young romance, and more. Above and beyond the stories of the more notable personalities — Jim Harrison, Roger Wilkins, John Hockenberry, President Gerald Ford, Betty Ford, Al Green, Paul Schrader, William Brashler — the book as a whole is chock-full of crisp, humorous, irreverent, and moving writing.
Reinder Van Til and Gordon Olson have excerpted half of the pieces from previous publications, while they directly solicited the other half from active writers specifically for this book. The earliest stories go back to the 1830s and 1850s, and the most recent are a cluster of contemporary pieces that describe coming of age in the Grand Rapids of the 1960s through the 1980s. Together they paint a multifaceted, impressionistic portrait of a century and a half in the fair city of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Great Lakes Shipwrecks and Survivals
Great Lakes Shipwrecks and Survivals
In this breathtaking chronicle of the most spectacular shipwrecks and survivals on the Great Lakes, William Ratigan re-creates vivid scenes of high courage and screaming panic from which no reader can turn away.
Included in this striking catalog of catastrophes and Flying Dutchmen are the magnificent excursion liner Eastland, which capsized at her pier in the Chicago River, drowning 835 people within clutching distance of busy downtown streets; the shipwrecked steel freighter Mataafa, which dumped its crew into freezing waters while the snowbound town of Duluth looked on; the dark Sunday in November 1913 when Lake Huron swallowed eight long ships without a man surviving to tell the tale; and the bitter November of 1958 when the Bradley went down in Lake Michigan during one of the greatest killer storms on the freshwater seas. An entire section is dedicated to the wreck of theEdmund Fitzgerald — the most famous maritime loss in modern times — in Lake Superior in 1975.
Chilling watercolor illustrations, photographs, maps, and news clippings accentuate Ratigan’s compelling and dramatic storytelling. Sailors, historians, and general readers alike will be swept away by these unforgettable tales of tragedy and heroism.
Read an EerdWord review of this book by Rachel Bomberger.
And one more (because we can’t resist) . . .
An Eerdmans Century
An Eerdmans Century, 1911-2011
Larry ten Harmsel with Reinder Van Til
From ten-cent specials for Dutch farmers to over 1,000 titles currently in print, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has since 1911 built a solid reputation for producing “the finest in religious literature”: an ecumenical blend of thoughtful books by authors including C. S. Lewis, Karl Barth, John Howard Yoder, Philip Yancey, Joan Chittister, N. T. Wright, Rowan Williams, Martin Marty, Eugene Peterson, and Pope Benedict XVI. In this book, published in conjunction with the Eerdmans centennial celebration in 2011, Larry ten Harmsel tells the company’s story. Through first-person interviews, historical documents, and newly uncovered information, ten Harmsel relates how Wm. B. Eerdmans Sr. started and built the American publishing company that bears his name — and how Wm. B. Eerdmans Jr. has carried on the family tradition of independent and eclectic religious publishing into the company’s 100th year.
Read about the book in an interview with Larry ten Harmsel here on EerdWord.