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John Gurda’s South Side Milwaukee family loved potluck dinners. “From the Jell-O salads at the start of the line through the hot dishes in the middle and on to the pumpkin bars at the end, the food was always hearty, abundant, and certifiably homemade,” he writes. Drawing from Gurda’s long-running Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel column, Brewtown Tales was prepared in the spirit of those fondly remembered meals. The main dish is Milwaukee history, served in a multitude of ways. You will find in these pages the biography of a bridge, a requiem for a union, tales of two shipwrecks, a frank take on segregation, and memories of the summer of ’68, among many other things. There are also side dishes that convey the distinctive flavors of Wisconsin and a few more exotic places, from Vilas County to Vietnam. Brewtown Tales will satisfy your hunger, introduce you to new and unexpected tastes, and whet your appetite for more homemade history.
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