MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters · Instagram 
Saturday, August 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 77.0° F  Light Rain Fog/Mist
Collapse Photo Bar

Levitan's Madison

What books, zines or other pulp are you reading? What aren't you reading? What should everyone else read?

Levitan's Madison

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:24 am

Today's WSJ has a puff piece by Bill Wineke on Stu's "Madison: the Illustrated Sequicentennial History, 1856-1931" (couldn't find a link to the review on WSJ's website).

A few questions.

I already have Mollenoff's Madison books (both the original and revised editions). Is Stu's book that much different?

The review mentions a statewide referendum on black sufferage (it lost) in 1847. Since Wisconsin didn't become a state until 1848, how could this be?

Also mentioned was the Second War School House. Shouldn't that read the Second Ward School House?
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19735
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: Levitan's Madison

Postby statz » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:31 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:I already have Mollenoff's Madison books (both the original and revised editions). Is Stu's book that much different?


Oh it probably is the greatest book about Madison ever written....

For the answer to your second question check out the State Historical Society, where I'm sure Stu found most of his information. It's free to explore and rather extensive in its collection.
statz
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 786
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 5:20 pm
Location: West Side and damn glad to be here

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:41 pm

I'm very familar with the State History Society. I've been a frequent visitor for over 30 years.

Stu answered my questions here. Seems the errors were typos in the WSJ story. Don't know if the Rev. Bill Wineke or his editors are to blame.

I'll be buying the book.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19735
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Postby statz » Tue Nov 28, 2006 7:08 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:I'm very familar with the State History Society. I've been a frequent visitor for over 30 years.


Then you'd know it is called the State HISTORICAL Society.

Sorry, you're too much fun to raz. Please do post a review of it when you're done reading it. I'll do the same, but I won't be buying it.
statz
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 786
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 5:20 pm
Location: West Side and damn glad to be here

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:44 pm

statz wrote:
Henry Vilas wrote:I'm very familar with the State History Society. I've been a frequent visitor for over 30 years.


Then you'd know it is called the State HISTORICAL Society.

Sorry, you're too much fun to raz. Please do post a review of it when you're done reading it. I'll do the same, but I won't be buying it.

Got me there. That's the trouble doing a quick post and not previewing. Saw Stu hyping the book on Alive at Five on WISC-TV, talking about choices made and not made in Madison's history and how they affect us now.

I'll give my review down the road (after I get the obligatory Border's gift card for the holidays). So how do you review a book you wouldn't buy? Gonna steal it?
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19735
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Postby statz » Tue Nov 28, 2006 9:38 pm

Oh no, I wouldn't steal it. It will be waiting for me when I can get to it.

I do find it funny though that someone can have a book signing that is based on collected archives of other people's photos. So now you can buy/borrow photos and call yourself an author? Wow, most librarians are missing out!
statz
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 786
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 5:20 pm
Location: West Side and damn glad to be here

Postby jjoyce » Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:15 pm

You might be getting Stu's book mixed up with Zane Williams' book. Stu's has plenty of images (maps, photos, illustrations), hence the title "Illustrated history," but it's got plenty of written history as well.
jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Postby statz » Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:54 am

Oh my mistake, I didn't realize that Stewart created the illustrations himself, privately collected all the photos and then through his own extensive research indexed the photos by description. Its a good thing he discovered all of this information for us.

Can't wait to see it.
statz
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 786
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 5:20 pm
Location: West Side and damn glad to be here

Postby Stu Levitan » Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:43 am

Well, no, I didn't take the pictures (although I did commission the maps by David Michael Miller). But I did write all 125,000 words of text. So I guess some people would consider me the author, y'know? But, hey, ymmv.
Stu Levitan
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3217
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 8:40 pm
Location: Studio B of the historic Abernathy Building

Postby statz » Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:39 pm

Rush Limbaugh writes books that are between 300 and 600 pages long without pictures. I guess that would make him an author too.
So Stu, why all the hype? You building your name recognition up for something new? Creating yourself as an authoritative figure on Madison for a particular purpose? Or is it just another ego boost?
Can we expect another run for some sort of office from you in a couple of years?
statz
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 786
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 5:20 pm
Location: West Side and damn glad to be here

Postby Peanutbutter » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:33 pm

There are plenty of reasons to dislike Stu, but this book isn't one of them.

I'm in the same boat as Henry. Have to wait until after the holidays before I get a copy, but I'll be sure to get one. Local history is always pretty interesting, no matter where you live.
Peanutbutter
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 953
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:54 am

Postby statz » Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:29 am

Peanutbutter wrote:There are plenty of reasons to dislike Stu, but this book isn't one of them.

I'm in the same boat as Henry. Have to wait until after the holidays before I get a copy, but I'll be sure to get one. Local history is always pretty interesting, no matter where you live.


Local History is intersting but its His Story I am suspicious of. The only thing that has surprised me so far is that the print of his name on the cover is smaller than that of the title.
statz
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 786
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 5:20 pm
Location: West Side and damn glad to be here

Postby Stu Levitan » Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:10 pm

Well, shabbat's over, so I might as well respond.

statz wrote:
So Stu, why all the hype?


Oh, I dunno. Having spent two years on this project, I would sort of like it to be a commercial success. So would my publisher (The University of Wisconsin Press). And I guess the bookstores that we're teaming up with -- Rainbow, Star, Room of One's Own, University -- agree. WHA, WORT, WIBA, WISC, WMTV, Cap Times, State Journal and Isthmus must also think there's something interesting in the project as well, as have the several hundred people who have already bought copies.

You building your name recognition up for something new? Creating yourself as an authoritative figure on Madison for a particular purpose?

Sure, I'd like to write another book or more magazine articles.I'm thinking about a piece contrasting the legal careers of John Olin and Michael Olbrich.
I find this stuff very interesting, and I like doing the research and writing.(The Madison Magazine series did take a statewide award from the Milwaukee Press Club, so apparently people do enjoy this kind of stuff) Having the opportunity to pursue something you're interested in and good at is a good thing. Maybe someday you'll learn what that's like.
Or is it just another ego boost?
OK, I'm busted. People who spend 30+ years in public life have an ego, no question about it.

Can we expect another run for some sort of office from you in a couple of years?


Highly, highly unlikely. But, you know, the last time I held elected office (1982-87) I wrote the countywide Fair Housing Ordinance, created the Commission on Sensitive Crimes, updated the Affirmative Action ordinance and triggered widespread newspaper recycling (by shutting the county landfill to municipalities that didn't have recycling programs). So, in all honesty, I really don't think my seeking elective office, as unlikely as that may be, should cause the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth. But, as always, ymmv.
Stu Levitan
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3217
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 8:40 pm
Location: Studio B of the historic Abernathy Building

Postby statz » Tue Dec 05, 2006 11:36 am

Stu Levitan wrote:Having the opportunity to pursue something you're interested in and good at is a good thing. Maybe someday you'll learn what that's like.


Well Stu I already do and it didn't take 30 years. Good is a relative term, we'll see how time judges or forgets.
statz
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 786
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 5:20 pm
Location: West Side and damn glad to be here

Postby Stu Levitan » Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:14 pm

How true, how true. Of course, being a pseudopod, you never really have to tell us what it is you're good at. But that's probably the idea, yes?

Of course good is a relative term, but there are some objective indicia of success. And for this point in time, I have to tell you that the number one best selling book in the city of Madison appears to be ... wait for it ... sorry to disappoint you ... but, yes, Madison: The Illustrated Sesquicentennial History, Vol. 1. At just one west side store (a very large one), I sold 98 copies last week at $34.95. Excluding juvenile fiction, our friend Zane Williams' beautiful new photo book came in at number 2 (70 copies @ 22.95); Mitch Albom sold 65 copies at $15.36, Barack Obama sold 64 copies at $17.50, and Michael Crichton sold 64 copies at $19.56. So I guess all that hype paid off, eh?
Stu Levitan
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3217
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 8:40 pm
Location: Studio B of the historic Abernathy Building

Next

Return to Books

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar