In Lithuanians in Michigan Marius Grazulis recounts the history of an immigrant group that has struggled to maintain its identity. Grazulis estimates that about 20 percent of the 1.6 million Lithuanians who immigrated to the United States arrived on American shores between 1860 and 1918.
While first-wave immigrants stayed mostly on the east coast, by 1920 about one-third of newly immigrated Lithuanians lived in Michigan, working in heavy industry and mining.
With remarkable detail, Grazulis traces the ways these groups have maintained their ethnic identity in Michigan in the face of changing demographics in their neighborhoods and changing interests among their children, along with the challenges posed by newly arriving "modern" Lithuanian immigrants, who did not read the same books, sing the same songs, celebrate the same holidays, or even speak the same language that previous waves of Lithuanian immigrants had preserved in America. Anyone interested in immigrant history will find Lithuanians in Michigan simultaneously familiar, fascinating, and moving.