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Comments and Reviews

“Jane Elder has been at the center of the struggle to protect the Great Lakes for four decades. Her memoir is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking. While not overlooking setbacks and defeats, Jane, in exquisite prose, provides hope for the Great Lakes, the planet, and ourselves.”

--Dave Dempsey, author of Half Wild: People, Dogs, and Environmental Policy and The Heart of the Lakes: Freshwater in the Past, Present, and Future of Southeast Michigan, and former policy advisor, International Joint Commission.

Ancient white pine, Sylvania

“This book combines the author’s personal experience of the environment with the social, political and economic changes in the Great Lakes region. Detailed campaign anecdotes combine with her humour to effectively convey insights about the Great Lakes and about campaigning. Her valuable lesson? —Action must include the four traits of wonder, love, grit and wisdom. What a great lesson for all of us.”

--John Jackson, Great Lakes activist working across the Canada-U.S. border on Great Lakes issues for the past forty years with groups such as Great Lakes United and the Great Lakes Ecoregion Network. 

Jane’s tale of activism, hope, and challenge is importantly grounded in her sense of place. She’s writing as a child of the Great Lakes, a daughter of an autoworker in Flint, Michigan. Her career spans an important period for both environmental policy and the Great Lakes region.

...she focuses on the kind of democratic work that goes into the making of policy. Her stories about lobbying against persistent chemical pollution in Great Lakes ecosystems are an invaluable reminder that creativity and the human touch are an important part of social change. Remembering what democracy looks like at a time when government seems particularly broken feels important. 


I’ll be back to these pages. There is a lot to learn here, not least about the relationship between love and hope.  

---Erik Ness, The Lemonadist

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