Wisconsin History - the history of Wisconsin
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Wisconsin   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Wisconsin History

   
 

Wisconsin History



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Odd Wisconsin: Amusing, Perplexing, and Unlikely Stories from Wisconsin's Past

By Erika Janik

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Paperback (208 pages)

Odd Wisconsin: Amusing, Perplexing, and Unlikely Stories from Wisconsin s Past
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While Bob La Follette's exploits as leader of progressive politics are legendary, his early morning exertions to save valuable government documents and executive department paintings during the disastrous 1904 capitol fire are largely unknown - until now. Odd Wisconsin captures the Wisconsin people, places, and events that didn't make it into conventional state histories, lowering a bucket into the depths of Wisconsin history and bringing to light curious fragments of forgotten lives.

This unique book unearths the stories that got lost to history even though they may have made local headlines at the time. No mythical hodags or eight-legged horses here! Odd Wisconsin features strange but true stories from Wisconsin's past, every one of which was documented (albeit by the standards of the day). These brief glimpses into Wisconsin's past will surprise, perplex, astonish, and otherwise connect readers with the state's fascinating history. From "the voyageur with a hole in his side" to "pigs beneath the legislature," Odd Wisconsin gathers 300 years of curiosities, all under the radar of traditional stories.

Odd Wisconsin: Amusing, Perplexing, and Unlikely Stories from Wisconsin's Past

By Erika Janik

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Paperback (208 pages)

Odd Wisconsin: Amusing, Perplexing, and Unlikely Stories from Wisconsin s Past
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While Bob La Follette's exploits as leader of progressive politics are legendary, his early morning exertions to save valuable government documents and executive department paintings during the disastrous 1904 capitol fire are largely unknown - until now. Odd Wisconsin captures the Wisconsin people, places, and events that didn't make it into conventional state histories, lowering a bucket into the depths of Wisconsin history and bringing to light curious fragments of forgotten lives.

This unique book unearths the stories that got lost to history even though they may have made local headlines at the time. No mythical hodags or eight-legged horses here! Odd Wisconsin features strange but true stories from Wisconsin's past, every one of which was documented (albeit by the standards of the day). These brief glimpses into Wisconsin's past will surprise, perplex, astonish, and otherwise connect readers with the state's fascinating history. From "the voyageur with a hole in his side" to "pigs beneath the legislature," Odd Wisconsin gathers 300 years of curiosities, all under the radar of traditional stories.

A Short History of Wisconsin

By Erika Janik

Brand: Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Paperback (264 pages)

A Short History of Wisconsin
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Rediscover Wisconsin history from the very beginning. A Short History of Wisconsin recounts the landscapes, people, and traditions that have made the state the multifaceted place it is today. With an approach both comprehensive and accessible, historian Erika Janik covers several centuries of Wisconsin's remarkable past, showing how the state was shaped by the same world wars, waves of new inhabitants, and upheavals in society and politics that shaped the nation.

Swift, authoritative, and compulsively readable, A Short History of Wisconsin commences with the glaciers that hewed the region's breathtaking terrain, the Native American cultures who first called it home, and French explorers and traders who mapped what was once called "Mescousing." Janik moves through the Civil War and two world wars, covers advances in the rights of women, workers, African Americans, and Indians, and recent shifts involving the environmental movement and the conservative revolution of the late 20th century. Wisconsin has hosted industries from fur-trapping to mining to dairying, and its political landscape sprouted figures both renowned and reviled, from Fighting Bob La Follette to Joseph McCarthy. Janik finds the story of a state not only in the broad strokes of immigration and politics, but also in the daily lives shaped by work, leisure, sports, and culture. A Short History of Wisconsin offers a fresh understanding of how Wisconsin came into being and how Wisconsinites past and present share a deep connection to the land itself.

A Short History of Wisconsin

By Erika Janik

Brand: Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Paperback (264 pages)

A Short History of Wisconsin
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Rediscover Wisconsin history from the very beginning. A Short History of Wisconsin recounts the landscapes, people, and traditions that have made the state the multifaceted place it is today. With an approach both comprehensive and accessible, historian Erika Janik covers several centuries of Wisconsin's remarkable past, showing how the state was shaped by the same world wars, waves of new inhabitants, and upheavals in society and politics that shaped the nation.

Swift, authoritative, and compulsively readable, A Short History of Wisconsin commences with the glaciers that hewed the region's breathtaking terrain, the Native American cultures who first called it home, and French explorers and traders who mapped what was once called "Mescousing." Janik moves through the Civil War and two world wars, covers advances in the rights of women, workers, African Americans, and Indians, and recent shifts involving the environmental movement and the conservative revolution of the late 20th century. Wisconsin has hosted industries from fur-trapping to mining to dairying, and its political landscape sprouted figures both renowned and reviled, from Fighting Bob La Follette to Joseph McCarthy. Janik finds the story of a state not only in the broad strokes of immigration and politics, but also in the daily lives shaped by work, leisure, sports, and culture. A Short History of Wisconsin offers a fresh understanding of how Wisconsin came into being and how Wisconsinites past and present share a deep connection to the land itself.

Bottoms Up: A Toast to Wisconsin's Historic Bars and Breweries (Places Along the Way)

By Jim Draeger

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Paperback (272 pages)

Bottoms Up: A Toast to Wisconsin s Historic Bars and Breweries (Places Along the Way)
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Bottoms Up celebrates Wisconsin’s taverns and the breweries that fueled them. Beginning with inns and saloons, the book explores the rise of taverns and breweries, the effects of temperance and Prohibition, and attitudes about gender, ethnicity, and morality. It traces the development of the megabreweries, dominance of the giants, and the emergence of microbreweries. Contemporary photographs of unusual and distinctive bars and breweries of all eras, historical photos, postcards, advertisements, and breweriana illustrate the story of how Wisconsin came to dominate brewing—and the place that bars and beer hold in our social and cultural history.
Seventy featured taverns and breweries represent diverse architectural styles, from the open-air Tom’s Burned Down Cafe on Madeline Island to the Art Moderne Casino in La Crosse, and from Club 10, a 1930s roadhouse in Stevens Point, to the well-known Wolski’s Tavern in Milwaukee. There are bars in barns and basements and brewpubs in former ice cream factories and railroad depots. Bottoms Up also includes a heady mix of such beer-related topics as ice harvesting, barrel making, bar games, Old-Fashioneds, bar fixtures, and the queen of the bootleggers. Now in paperback for the first time!

Bottoms Up: A Toast to Wisconsin's Historic Bars and Breweries (Places Along the Way)

By Jim Draeger

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Paperback (272 pages)

Bottoms Up: A Toast to Wisconsin s Historic Bars and Breweries (Places Along the Way)
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Bottoms Up celebrates Wisconsin’s taverns and the breweries that fueled them. Beginning with inns and saloons, the book explores the rise of taverns and breweries, the effects of temperance and Prohibition, and attitudes about gender, ethnicity, and morality. It traces the development of the megabreweries, dominance of the giants, and the emergence of microbreweries. Contemporary photographs of unusual and distinctive bars and breweries of all eras, historical photos, postcards, advertisements, and breweriana illustrate the story of how Wisconsin came to dominate brewing—and the place that bars and beer hold in our social and cultural history.
Seventy featured taverns and breweries represent diverse architectural styles, from the open-air Tom’s Burned Down Cafe on Madeline Island to the Art Moderne Casino in La Crosse, and from Club 10, a 1930s roadhouse in Stevens Point, to the well-known Wolski’s Tavern in Milwaukee. There are bars in barns and basements and brewpubs in former ice cream factories and railroad depots. Bottoms Up also includes a heady mix of such beer-related topics as ice harvesting, barrel making, bar games, Old-Fashioneds, bar fixtures, and the queen of the bootleggers. Now in paperback for the first time!

The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin: Voices of Early Settlers

By Michael E. Stevens

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Released: 2018-10-29
Paperback (192 pages)

The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin: Voices of Early Settlers
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From the mid-1830s through the 1850s, more than a half million people settled in Wisconsin. While traveling in ships and wagons, establishing homes, and forming new communities, these men, women, and children recorded their experiences in letters, diaries, and newspaper articles. In their own words, they revealed their fears, joys, frustrations, and hopes for life in this new place. 

The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin provides a unique and intimate glimpse into the lives of these early settlers, as they describe what it felt like to be a teenager in a wagon heading west or an isolated young wife living far from her friends and family. Woven together with context provided by historian Michael E. Stevens, these first-person accounts form a fascinating narrative that deepens our ability to understand and empathize with Wisconsin’s early pioneers. 

The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin: Voices of Early Settlers

By Michael E. Stevens

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Released: 2018-10-29
Paperback (192 pages)

The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin: Voices of Early Settlers
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From the mid-1830s through the 1850s, more than a half million people settled in Wisconsin. While traveling in ships and wagons, establishing homes, and forming new communities, these men, women, and children recorded their experiences in letters, diaries, and newspaper articles. In their own words, they revealed their fears, joys, frustrations, and hopes for life in this new place. 

The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin provides a unique and intimate glimpse into the lives of these early settlers, as they describe what it felt like to be a teenager in a wagon heading west or an isolated young wife living far from her friends and family. Woven together with context provided by historian Michael E. Stevens, these first-person accounts form a fascinating narrative that deepens our ability to understand and empathize with Wisconsin’s early pioneers. 

Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal, 2 Edition

By Patty Loew

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Paperback (240 pages)

Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal, 2 Edition
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From origin stories to contemporary struggles over treaty rights and sovereignty issues, Indian Nations of Wisconsin explores Wisconsin's rich Native tradition. This unique volume—based on the historical perspectives of the state’s Native peoples—includes compact tribal histories of the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Oneida, Menominee, Mohican, Ho-Chunk, and Brothertown Indians. Author Patty Loew focuses on oral tradition—stories, songs, the recorded words of Indian treaty negotiators, and interviews—along with other untapped Native sources, such as tribal newspapers, to present a distinctly different view of history. Lavishly illustrated with maps and photographs, Indian Nations of Wisconsin is indispensable to anyone interested in the region's history and its Native peoples.

The first edition of Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal, won the Wisconsin Library Association's 2002 Outstanding Book Award.

Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal, 2 Edition

By Patty Loew

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Paperback (240 pages)

Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal, 2 Edition
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  • Wisconsin Historical Society Press
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From origin stories to contemporary struggles over treaty rights and sovereignty issues, Indian Nations of Wisconsin explores Wisconsin's rich Native tradition. This unique volume—based on the historical perspectives of the state’s Native peoples—includes compact tribal histories of the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Oneida, Menominee, Mohican, Ho-Chunk, and Brothertown Indians. Author Patty Loew focuses on oral tradition—stories, songs, the recorded words of Indian treaty negotiators, and interviews—along with other untapped Native sources, such as tribal newspapers, to present a distinctly different view of history. Lavishly illustrated with maps and photographs, Indian Nations of Wisconsin is indispensable to anyone interested in the region's history and its Native peoples.

The first edition of Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal, won the Wisconsin Library Association's 2002 Outstanding Book Award.

The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics

By Dan Kaufman

W. W. Norton & Company
Released: 2018-07-10
Hardcover (336 pages)

The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics
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National Bestseller

The untold story behind the most shocking political upheaval in the country.

For more than a century, Wisconsin has been known nationwide for its progressive ideas and government. It famously served as a "laboratory of democracy," a cradle of the labor and environmental movements, and birthplace of the Wisconsin Idea, which championed expertise in the service of the common good. But following a Republican sweep of the state’s government in 2010, Wisconsin’s political heritage was overturned, and the state went Republican for the first time in three decades in the 2016 presidential election, elevating Donald J. Trump to the presidency.

The Fall of Wisconsin is a deeply reported, searing account of how the state’s progressive tradition was undone and turned into a model for national conservatives bent on remaking the country. Dan Kaufman, a Wisconsin native who has been covering the story for several years, traces the history of progressivism that made Wisconsin so widely admired, from the work of celebrated politicians like Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette and Gaylord Nelson, to local traditions like Milwaukee’s “sewer socialism,” to the conservationist ideas of Aldo Leopold and the state’s Native American tribes. Kaufman reveals how the “divide-and-conquer” strategy of Governor Scott Walker and his allies pitted Wisconsin’s citizens against one another so powerful corporations and wealthy donors could effectively take control of state government. As a result, laws protecting voting rights, labor unions, the environment, and public education were rapidly dismantled.

Neither sentimental nor despairing, Kaufman also chronicles the remarkable efforts of citizens who are fighting to reclaim Wisconsin’s progressive legacy against tremendous odds: Chris Taylor, a Democratic assemblywoman exposing the national conservative infrastructure, Mike Wiggins, the head of a Chippewa tribe battling an out-of-state mining company, and Randy Bryce, the ironworker whose long-shot challenge to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has galvanized national resistance to Trump.

The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics

By Dan Kaufman

W. W. Norton & Company
Released: 2018-07-10
Hardcover (336 pages)

The Fall of Wisconsin: The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics
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Product Description:

National Bestseller

The untold story behind the most shocking political upheaval in the country.

For more than a century, Wisconsin has been known nationwide for its progressive ideas and government. It famously served as a "laboratory of democracy," a cradle of the labor and environmental movements, and birthplace of the Wisconsin Idea, which championed expertise in the service of the common good. But following a Republican sweep of the state’s government in 2010, Wisconsin’s political heritage was overturned, and the state went Republican for the first time in three decades in the 2016 presidential election, elevating Donald J. Trump to the presidency.

The Fall of Wisconsin is a deeply reported, searing account of how the state’s progressive tradition was undone and turned into a model for national conservatives bent on remaking the country. Dan Kaufman, a Wisconsin native who has been covering the story for several years, traces the history of progressivism that made Wisconsin so widely admired, from the work of celebrated politicians like Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette and Gaylord Nelson, to local traditions like Milwaukee’s “sewer socialism,” to the conservationist ideas of Aldo Leopold and the state’s Native American tribes. Kaufman reveals how the “divide-and-conquer” strategy of Governor Scott Walker and his allies pitted Wisconsin’s citizens against one another so powerful corporations and wealthy donors could effectively take control of state government. As a result, laws protecting voting rights, labor unions, the environment, and public education were rapidly dismantled.

Neither sentimental nor despairing, Kaufman also chronicles the remarkable efforts of citizens who are fighting to reclaim Wisconsin’s progressive legacy against tremendous odds: Chris Taylor, a Democratic assemblywoman exposing the national conservative infrastructure, Mike Wiggins, the head of a Chippewa tribe battling an out-of-state mining company, and Randy Bryce, the ironworker whose long-shot challenge to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has galvanized national resistance to Trump.

Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, Its People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History

By Denise Gess

Holt Paperbacks
Released: 2003-06-01
Paperback (320 pages)

Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, Its People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History
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"Novelist Denise Gess and historian William Lutz brilliantly restore the event to its rightful place in the forefront of American historical imagination." ―Chicago Sun-Times

On October 8, 1871―the same night as the Great Chicago Fire―the lumber town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, was struck with a five-mile-wide wall of flames, borne on tornado-force winds of one hundred miles per hour that tore across more than 2,400 square miles of land, obliterating the town in less than one hour and killing more than two thousand people.

At the center of the blowout were politically driven newsmen Luther Noyes and Franklin Tilton, money-seeking lumber baron Isaac Stephenson, parish priest Father Peter Pernin, and meteorologist Increase Lapham. In Firestorm at Peshtigo, Denise Gess and William Lutz vividly re-create the personal and political battles leading to this monumental natural disaster, and deliver it from the lost annals of American history.

Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, Its People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History

By Denise Gess

Holt Paperbacks
Released: 2003-06-01
Paperback (320 pages)

Firestorm at Peshtigo: A Town, Its People, and the Deadliest Fire in American History
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"Novelist Denise Gess and historian William Lutz brilliantly restore the event to its rightful place in the forefront of American historical imagination." ―Chicago Sun-Times

On October 8, 1871―the same night as the Great Chicago Fire―the lumber town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, was struck with a five-mile-wide wall of flames, borne on tornado-force winds of one hundred miles per hour that tore across more than 2,400 square miles of land, obliterating the town in less than one hour and killing more than two thousand people.

At the center of the blowout were politically driven newsmen Luther Noyes and Franklin Tilton, money-seeking lumber baron Isaac Stephenson, parish priest Father Peter Pernin, and meteorologist Increase Lapham. In Firestorm at Peshtigo, Denise Gess and William Lutz vividly re-create the personal and political battles leading to this monumental natural disaster, and deliver it from the lost annals of American history.

On the Hunt: The History of Deer Hunting in Wisconsin

By Robert C Willging

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Paperback (320 pages)

On the Hunt: The History of Deer Hunting in Wisconsin
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On the Hunt is the story of deer-hunting in Wisconsin, from the spear-throwing Paleo-Indians to the sportsmen of today. Meticulously researched by one of the state's most prolific outdoor writers, On the Hunt covers subsistence and sport hunting, deer camps, changing deer management policies, and recent developments and controversies, from human encroachment on deer habitat to CWD. Range maps and charts tracking annual herd populations and harvest goals complement Willging's engaging storytelling. Drawing from Department of Conservation papers, hunting magazines, newspapers, historic photos of classic deer camps, and the personal stories of hunters and deer managers, On the Hunt offers a fascinating glimpse into a distant and not-so-distant past, when the hunt joined men in almost mythical unity and bucks were seemingly larger than life.
 
An ardent sportsman with nearly 25 years of hunting experience, Willging understands that deer-hunting is as much about the smell of the woods in autumn and the meticulous cleaning of a fine rifle as it is about bringing home a whitetail. His story of how Wisconsin's own World War II flying ace, Richard Bong, squeezed in a few days of hunting while home on leave vividly illustrates the sport's powerful pull on hearts and minds. Willging also engagingly conveys the important tradition of the deer-hunting camp, from a humble two-man shack in Chequamegon National Forest (like the one he shared with his best friend, Steve) to the grand old Deer Foot Lodge founded in 1912 in Vilas County.
 
On the Hunt is perfect preparation for the avid sportsman's annual fall trek with friends and family into the woods.

On the Hunt: The History of Deer Hunting in Wisconsin

By Robert C Willging

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Paperback (320 pages)

On the Hunt: The History of Deer Hunting in Wisconsin
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On the Hunt is the story of deer-hunting in Wisconsin, from the spear-throwing Paleo-Indians to the sportsmen of today. Meticulously researched by one of the state's most prolific outdoor writers, On the Hunt covers subsistence and sport hunting, deer camps, changing deer management policies, and recent developments and controversies, from human encroachment on deer habitat to CWD. Range maps and charts tracking annual herd populations and harvest goals complement Willging's engaging storytelling. Drawing from Department of Conservation papers, hunting magazines, newspapers, historic photos of classic deer camps, and the personal stories of hunters and deer managers, On the Hunt offers a fascinating glimpse into a distant and not-so-distant past, when the hunt joined men in almost mythical unity and bucks were seemingly larger than life.
 
An ardent sportsman with nearly 25 years of hunting experience, Willging understands that deer-hunting is as much about the smell of the woods in autumn and the meticulous cleaning of a fine rifle as it is about bringing home a whitetail. His story of how Wisconsin's own World War II flying ace, Richard Bong, squeezed in a few days of hunting while home on leave vividly illustrates the sport's powerful pull on hearts and minds. Willging also engagingly conveys the important tradition of the deer-hunting camp, from a humble two-man shack in Chequamegon National Forest (like the one he shared with his best friend, Steve) to the grand old Deer Foot Lodge founded in 1912 in Vilas County.
 
On the Hunt is perfect preparation for the avid sportsman's annual fall trek with friends and family into the woods.

The Wisconsin Story: 150 People, Places, and Turning Points that Shaped the Badger State

By Dennis McCann

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Released: 2019-10-24
Paperback (320 pages)

The Wisconsin Story: 150 People, Places, and Turning Points that Shaped the Badger State
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The Wisconsin Story: 150 People, Places, and Turning Points that Shaped the Badger State offers readers engaging vignettes about everything Wisconsin. From portraits of significant figures like Robert and Belle La Follette, Golda Meir, and Edna Ferber, to stories of important events like the Black Hawk War, 1960s campus protests, and oleo smuggling, The Wisconsin Story takes readers on a fun and informative ride all across the Badger State. Where was Calvin Coolidge’s summer White House? What was the “anti-corset resolution?” And why was a cow named Ollie milked on an airplane? Award-winning newspaper columnist Dennis McCann’s talent for distilling complex subjects into brief stories that pack a punch makes this collection the perfect answer to the question “what makes Wisconsin, Wisconsin?”

The Wisconsin Story: 150 People, Places, and Turning Points that Shaped the Badger State

By Dennis McCann

Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Released: 2019-10-24
Paperback (320 pages)

The Wisconsin Story: 150 People, Places, and Turning Points that Shaped the Badger State
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The Wisconsin Story: 150 People, Places, and Turning Points that Shaped the Badger State offers readers engaging vignettes about everything Wisconsin. From portraits of significant figures like Robert and Belle La Follette, Golda Meir, and Edna Ferber, to stories of important events like the Black Hawk War, 1960s campus protests, and oleo smuggling, The Wisconsin Story takes readers on a fun and informative ride all across the Badger State. Where was Calvin Coolidge’s summer White House? What was the “anti-corset resolution?” And why was a cow named Ollie milked on an airplane? Award-winning newspaper columnist Dennis McCann’s talent for distilling complex subjects into brief stories that pack a punch makes this collection the perfect answer to the question “what makes Wisconsin, Wisconsin?”

The Drink That Made Wisconsin Famous: Beer and Brewing in the Badger State

By Doug Hoverson

Univ Of Minnesota Press
Hardcover (752 pages)

The Drink That Made Wisconsin Famous: Beer and Brewing in the Badger State
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From grain to glass—a complete illustrated history of brewing and breweries in the state more famous for beer than any other
 

Few places on Earth are as identified with beer as Wisconsin, with good reason. Since its first commercial brewery was established in 1835, the state has seen more than 800 open and more than 650 close—sometimes after mere months, sometimes after thriving for as long as a century and a half. The Drink That Made Wisconsin Famous explores this rich history, from the first territorial pioneers to the most recent craft brewers, and from barley to barstool. 

From the global breweries that developed in Milwaukee in the 1870s to the “wildcat” breweries of Prohibition and the upstart craft brewers of today, Doug Hoverson tells the stories of Wisconsin’s rich brewing history. The lavishly illustrated book goes beyond the giants like Miller, Schlitz, Pabst, and Heileman that loom large in the state’s brewing renown. Of equal interest are the hundreds of small breweries across the state started by immigrants and entrepreneurs to serve local or regional markets. Many proved remarkably resistant to the consolidation and contraction that changed the industry—giving the impression that nearly every town in the Badger State had its own brewery. Even before beer tourism became popular, hunters, anglers, and travelers found their favorite brews in small Wisconsin cities like Rice Lake, Stevens Point, and Chippewa Falls. Hoverson describes these breweries in all their diversity, from the earliest enterprises to the few surviving stalwarts to the modern breweries reviving Wisconsin’s reputation as the place to find not just the most beer but the best.

Within the larger history, every brewery has its story, and Hoverson gives each its due, investigating the circumstances that meant success or failure and describing in engaging detail the people, the technology, the marketing, and the government relations that delivered Wisconsin’s beer from grain to glass.

The Drink That Made Wisconsin Famous: Beer and Brewing in the Badger State

By Doug Hoverson

Univ Of Minnesota Press
Hardcover (752 pages)

The Drink That Made Wisconsin Famous: Beer and Brewing in the Badger State
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From grain to glass—a complete illustrated history of brewing and breweries in the state more famous for beer than any other
 

Few places on Earth are as identified with beer as Wisconsin, with good reason. Since its first commercial brewery was established in 1835, the state has seen more than 800 open and more than 650 close—sometimes after mere months, sometimes after thriving for as long as a century and a half. The Drink That Made Wisconsin Famous explores this rich history, from the first territorial pioneers to the most recent craft brewers, and from barley to barstool. 

From the global breweries that developed in Milwaukee in the 1870s to the “wildcat” breweries of Prohibition and the upstart craft brewers of today, Doug Hoverson tells the stories of Wisconsin’s rich brewing history. The lavishly illustrated book goes beyond the giants like Miller, Schlitz, Pabst, and Heileman that loom large in the state’s brewing renown. Of equal interest are the hundreds of small breweries across the state started by immigrants and entrepreneurs to serve local or regional markets. Many proved remarkably resistant to the consolidation and contraction that changed the industry—giving the impression that nearly every town in the Badger State had its own brewery. Even before beer tourism became popular, hunters, anglers, and travelers found their favorite brews in small Wisconsin cities like Rice Lake, Stevens Point, and Chippewa Falls. Hoverson describes these breweries in all their diversity, from the earliest enterprises to the few surviving stalwarts to the modern breweries reviving Wisconsin’s reputation as the place to find not just the most beer but the best.

Within the larger history, every brewery has its story, and Hoverson gives each its due, investigating the circumstances that meant success or failure and describing in engaging detail the people, the technology, the marketing, and the government relations that delivered Wisconsin’s beer from grain to glass.



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