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In Finns in Michigan Gary Kaunonen probes the intricacies of immigration, labor, and ideology among the members of this intriguing and historically important ethnic group. He skillfully traces the evolution of a vibrant, diverse, dramatic, and at times deeply quarrelsome people who left an indelible mark on the state's history.
Kaunonen examines the many schisms and splits that define the course of Finnish social life in Michigan. Michigan's Finns flocked to diverse cultural organizations that span a broad ideological spectrum. This book examines an extraordinarily wide range of organizations, including religious institutions, temperance societies, working-class political and labor groups, the cooperative movement, and a nationalist association of Finns.
Finns in Michigan is a study of the contributions of Michigan's Finns in the workplace, in society, and in cultural life. Unlike previous, sometimes mythologized, histories of the Finns in Michigan, Kaunonen's rendition strives to be a more accurate representation of "the good, the bad, and the other" activities of a group he calls "possibly America's most diverse family."