Dark Side of the Mitten — Tom Carr
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Michigan’s past has a more sinister side than what’s commonly displayed on roadside historical markers. In Dark Side of the Mitten: Crimes of the Powerful and Powerful Criminals in Michigan’s Past and Present, author Tom Carr presents a wide array of stories about Michigan’s gritty and gruesome past, all told with his signature humor and irreverence.
Carr’s new book, the third in his “Blood on the Mitten” series, is out now.
Among the tales of the down and dirty:
- A lumber baron in Rogers City takes the “baron” part way too far. After he lies, cheats and sexually harasses countless settlers and lumbermen, a band of citizens serves him some frontier comeuppance.
- A state senator is murdered on a lonely highway in winter after a run-in with the mob and its horse-racing schemes.
- The father of Malcolm X moves his family to Lansing to escape Klan terror, only to have these supposed greener pastures run red when he dies suspiciously in a “trolley accident.”
- The Potawatomi Trail of Death starts near Saginaw, as U.S. troops march hundreds of Native Americans from their homes to make way for European American settlers.
Game-changing, but anti-Semitic industrialist Henry Ford hires a right-hand man who beats up union organizers, keeps a pistol in his desk drawer and shows stag movies at lunchtime.
Dark Side of the Mitten tells of the people behind the names of local places like Woodward Avenue, Wayne County and the city of Cassopolis — all, by the way, northern slave owners.
It tells of great, but flawed, figures, from the likes of cereal-pioneering Kellogg brothers to the automotive innovating Dodge brothers; from territorial governor Lewis Cass to Motown’s founder Berry Gordy; from Detroit founder Cadillac, to the great Odawa chief Pontiac.
Dark Side of the Mitten is a follow-up to Carr’s best-selling Blood on the Mitten: Infamous Michigan Murders, 1700s-Present and MI BAD: Robbers, Cutthroats and Thieves in Michigan’s Past and Present.