Dr. Howard on the Keweenaw (Second Edition)
by P.J. Howard, M.D.

"Yooper: a special person from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula."

The book offers a variety of topics, beginning with the most important piece—the full definition of a Yooper; to understand the rest of the book, you need to understand these beloved people. Part autobiography that begins with his childhood, part travel documentary, part medical journal, part weather news, and part tribute, the author’s book travels with the insights of a historian through the beautiful landscape of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He covers the copper mines, the formation of Michigan through the Ice Age, the area of the Keweenaw Bay, and the area of Native American tribes. After retirement in the mid-2000s, the author accepted a locum tenens position in Hancock, MI, fulfilling a life-long interest in the shores of the Gitche Gumee, which he also examines through poetry and music.

The history is fascinating and is written in an engaging manner with humor and a love of the area. Howard also personalizes this writing though his own story, including his experiences with cancer, his interactions with others, and his work. However, learning about the best cafeteria food at the hospital and in-depth discussions about urology, such as the importance of penile hygiene or a detailed analysis of a person’s mental health, distract from the book’s historical focus and make for an odd juxtaposition in the work. Overall, though, this is a revealing, interesting, and personal book of history. The photos offer a nice companion to the text, which is creative and descriptive, especially the detail regarding the history of the area and the discussion of its beauty.

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