Hamtramck: The Driven City

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Arcadia Publishing, 2002 - History - 160 pages
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Surrounded completely by the city of Detroit, Hamtramck is today home to 24,000 residents, but its small size-just 2.1 square miles-belies its expansive history and the influence this remarkable community has had far beyond its borders.

Founded as a township in 1798, Hamtramck remained primarily a rural area until the early twentieth century, when auto pioneers John and Horace Dodge opened a factory on the south end of town. In just 20 years, the city's population increased by a staggering 1,600 percent. The majority of these newest residents were Polish immigrants, who brought with them a strong work ethic, a rich culture, a genuine joy for living, and an intense appreciation for democracy. Legendary to this day for its fiery politics, the solidly Democratic Hamtramck openly flaunted Prohibition, received a visit from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, strongly supported the early labor unions, and even served as a key headquarters for the Communist Party in North America. In Hamtramck: The Driven City, an engaging narrative combined with more than 100 black-and-white images will take readers on a fascinating journey into the past and breathe new life into the memorable characters and events, the conflicts and scandals that formed the city's distinctive identity.


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About the author (2002)

Author Greg Kowalski, a longtime resident and chairman of the Hamtramck Historical Commission, has crafted a highly readable and highly visual account of Hamtramck's unique history that captures the courage and energy, the drama and humor of this extraordinary community. Both natives and visitors alike will agree that Hamtramck: The Driven City provides fitting testimony to this city's legacies of pride, patriotism, and perseverance.