Glimpses of Grand Traverse Past by Richard Fidler: a review

Exceptionally well done local history.

Sixteen essays on Traverse City topics; the typical pattern is that Fidler describes an event, then puts it into state or national context, and finishes by drawing conclusions about the importance of the topic. Various chapters discuss the Ku Klux Klan, the evolution of local newspapers, early baseball, labor relations at the largest local employer, and so forth.

Fidler cautions us, unnecessarily, that he’s not a historian by training and that the book is not serious history. But it’s extremely well-researched, well-written, and interesting. In that sense, this is serious history. A wonderful read.

This review was originally published on LibraryThing.

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