The Making of Milwaukee
by John Gurda | Milwaukee County Historical Society, 2006
here to order this book.
nine detailed chapters and 460 pages, John Gurda depicts this history of Milwaukee's
people and organizations, both the famous and the little known. Generously
illustrated, this book proves that history need not be dry and dull, but rather can be
lively and illuminating.
First published in 1999, with this third edition in 2006, The
Making of Milwaukee brings alive the major trends that shaped the city. The nine
· Native Milwaukee
· City of the Swamp, 1835-1846
· Here Come the Germans, 1846-1865
· Wheat, Iron, Beer and Bloodshed, 1865-1886
· Triumph of the Workingman, 1886-1910
· A Bigger, Brighter and Blander Milwaukee, 1910-1930
· Hard Times and Wartime, 1930-1945
· The Exploding Metropolis, 1945-1967
· Shifting Currents, 1967 -
John is an award-winning author and Milwaukee
Journal Sentinel columnist. In addition to this major history of Milwaukee, he
is the author of the new Cream City Chronicles: Stories of Milwaukee's Past, a
compilation of the best of his Milwaukee history columns that ran monthly on Sundays
starting in 1994. John's narrative style brings history to life.
The people who fill these chapters range from founding fathers and
mothers to the rich and famous to those who labored in Milwaukee's influential early
industries -- wheat shipping, tanning, beer brewing, meat processing and metal bending.
The founding era is the saga of Solomon Juneau and his partner
Morgan and competitors Byron Kilbourn and George Walker, each creating a major section of
the city, East Side, West Side and South Side.
Right on the heels of this opening era was the period of massive
immigration of Germans, who established a culture that make Milwaukee famous as the
"Deutsch Athen" or German Athens. Turner societies, singing groups, German beer
gardens and more shaped the city.
The city's famous breweries and brewers are here -- Blatz, Pabst,
Miller, Schlitz -- and also the entrepreneurs including Allis, Cudahy, Pfister and Vogel,
Plankinton, Harnischfeger and more. Major industries such as the Bay View iron mill and
Harley-Davidson motorcycles are featured.
The city's politicians, especially Milwaukee's mayors, have a major
place in the book. Included are the famous Socialist mayors who worked to clean up city
government and emphasize services to the city's people.
|Gurda introduces readers to they many different ethnic
groups that made Milwaukee home. He explores the impact of the Depression, the World Wars,
the civil rights movement, and the shocking loss of manufacturing jobs at the end of the
20th century. And the construction of skyscrapers and arts facilties signaling hope for
The Making of Milwaukee is the perfect
companion to Cream City Chronicles
with its lively stories and to the rich array of photos found in Milwaukee Then and Now by Sandra
Ackerman. John Gurda's books provide a tour of the city in words, while Ackerman's volume
offers a visual tour of public buildings including Milwaukee's famous City Hall, retail
and office buildings, art spaces including the historic Pabst Theater, breweries,
mansions, parks, and more.
Whether you were born in Milwaukee or are interested in the city's
dynamic history, you will want this book. For people doing family history and
genealogy research that includes Milwaukee ancestors, the book offers a superb historical
context for each of the city's eras.
Then and Now
Hats off the the Milwaukee County Historical Society for
publishing this fine volume of Milwaukee history.
here to order John Gurda's The Making of Milwaukee.
here to order John Gurda's Cream City Chronicles: Stories of Milwaukee's
here to order Sandra Ackerman's Milwaukee Then and Now.
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