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These words call up an image of an ethnic, industrial town whose skyline is thick with smokestacks and steeples, a place whose character can be summed up in another “B” word: blue collar. It’s true that Milwaukee’s German accent was unmistakable in the 1880s; it was the Beer Capital of the World; and it’s the home of the steam shovels that dug the Panama Canal, the engines that powered the New York City subway system, and the motorcycles that made Harley-Davidson an American legend.
But the stereotypes don’t begin to convey the richness of Milwaukee’s past. They don’t describe the five citizens killed by the state militia as they marched for the eight-hour day. The Jewish community leader who wrote The Settlement Cookbook. The Italian railroad promoter who bribed an entire state legislature. The Socialists who made Milwaukee the best governed big city in America. Allis-Chalmers and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Summerfest and Irish Fest. Golda Meir. Carl Sandburg. Robin Yount.
The Making of Milwaukee tells all those stories and a great many more. Well-written, superbly organized, and lavishly illustrated, it is sure to be the standard reference for many years to come. 2018/4th Edition.
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