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Book details Norwegian immigration to Michigan

March 4, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Norwegian immigrants settled in Michigan as farmers, sailors on the Great Lakes, businessmen, engineers, clergymen and academicians--some becoming people of considerable distinction in this state. Their experiences as well as those of their descendants are captured in a new book, "Norwegians in Michigan," written by Dr. Clifford Davidson, Western Michigan University professor emeritus of English and Medieval Studies.

His book is the latest in a popular series of volumes examining various ethnic groups in the state. The "Discovering the Peoples of Michigan" series, published by the Michigan State University Press, was established by general editor Dr. Author W. Helweg, WMU professor emeritus of anthropology, to whom Davidson's new book is dedicated.

Davidson writes that among those who came to Michigan from Norway, many were leaving their native country because of poor economic conditions and overpopulation. Life in Michigan was still hard for many of the early immigrants, and during the 19th and early 20th centuries many longed for home and maintained many of their traditions, including their music, folklore and religion. Some who came to Michigan After World II have vivid memories of their experiences during the Nazi occupation.

The "Discovering the Peoples of Michigan" series encompasses nearly 30 volumes covering the various ethnic groups in the state, including the Amish, Dutch, Jews, Asian Indians, Arabs and African-Americans. Books in the series are available through Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores and retail for $12.95 each.

For more information on the new volume, contact Clifford Davidson at davidson@wmich.edu.

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Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

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