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Levitan's Madison

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

Postby Marvell » Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:08 pm

Stu Levitan wrote: At just one west side store (a very large one), I sold 98 copies last week at $34.95.[...] Barack Obama sold 64 copies at $17.50[.]


Stop being coy, Stu. You're running for President, aren't you?

Don't be shy - I think America's ready for a Foron in the Oval Office.
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Postby Stu Levitan » Thu Dec 07, 2006 6:31 am

Marvell wrote:Stop being coy, Stu. You're running for President, aren't you?


Again, busted. What can I say? The notion of a POTUS younger than me just really freaks me out.
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Postby statz » Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:49 pm

Stu Levitan wrote: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?


Are you still jerking yourself off? Man your dick must get sore. I am just in amazement that anyone can walk in your shadow, first a legend in politics now a master at writing history. Please continue to wow us with your self promotion!
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Postby Stu Levitan » Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:52 am

Statz, I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that the first printing of 5,000 is just about sold out, and a second edition (now with index), with a print run of another 5,000, is coming out next month.
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Postby spanky » Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:25 am

Stu Levitan wrote:Statz, I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that the first printing of 5,000 is just about sold out, and a second edition (now with index), with a print run of another 5,000, is coming out next month.

Congratulations Stuart. Sincerely.
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Postby SombreroFallout » Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:31 am

Stu Levitan wrote: . . . I would sort of like it to be a commercial success. . . And I guess the bookstores ..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 .


And that something interesting would be?


I think all Stuart is saying is Now there's a Ice Cream Man in Town. Get your Cool Ice Cream.
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Postby blunt » Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:50 am

SombreroFallout wrote:
Stu Levitan wrote: . . . I would sort of like it to be a commercial success. . . And I guess the bookstores ..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 .


And that something interesting would be?


It's about local stuff.
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Postby Bwis53 » Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:58 pm

Hey, I was born in 1950. When's that book that picks up there til today, gonna come out?
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Postby Stu Levitan » Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:19 am

Tracy Will is hard at work on Vol. 2, with a pub date sometime in 2008.

And Spanky, thank you. Sincerely.
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Postby MadMind » Tue Sep 25, 2007 5:27 pm

Stu, have you seen the phenomenal The Making Of Milwaukee documentary based on the book by Milwaukee historian John Gurda?
I'd like to see someone do something similar for Madison.

A question; Why is it that historians have such a difficult time with recent history? It seems that everything I've read or seen on more recent local history has been brief at best. The same effort, time, and meticulous research that's devoted to the early years of a city always outshines that which is done on recent history.
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Postby Sheppy » Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:13 pm

MadMind wrote:Stu, have you seen the phenomenal The Making Of Milwaukee documentary based on the book by Milwaukee historian John Gurda?
I'd like to see someone do something similar for Madison.

A question; Why is it that historians have such a difficult time with recent history? It seems that everything I've read or seen on more recent local history has been brief at best. The same effort, time, and meticulous research that's devoted to the early years of a city always outshines that which is done on recent history.


Gurda's book and documentary are great, but they both do a terrible job relating more recent history.

The documentary does an amazing job telling you how Milwaukee evolved into what it became circa 1960. It does a much worse job, however, talking about how it changed from 1960 to the present. Sure, it covers all the basics -- deindustrialization, race relations, the downtown revitalization, etc. but there's no analysis.

It's almost as though historians like Gurda get a little overcautious when talking about more recent stuff. Sure, the verdict on more recent history is not settled, but come on, have some balls here.
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Postby MadMind » Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:43 pm

Sheppy wrote:
MadMind wrote:Stu, have you seen the phenomenal The Making Of Milwaukee documentary based on the book by Milwaukee historian John Gurda?
I'd like to see someone do something similar for Madison.

A question; Why is it that historians have such a difficult time with recent history? It seems that everything I've read or seen on more recent local history has been brief at best. The same effort, time, and meticulous research that's devoted to the early years of a city always outshines that which is done on recent history.


Gurda's book and documentary are great, but they both do a terrible job relating more recent history.

The documentary does an amazing job telling you how Milwaukee evolved into what it became circa 1960. It does a much worse job, however, talking about how it changed from 1960 to the present. Sure, it covers all the basics -- deindustrialization, race relations, the downtown revitalization, etc. but there's no analysis.

It's almost as though historians like Gurda get a little overcautious when talking about more recent stuff. Sure, the verdict on more recent history is not settled, but come on, have some balls here.

You hit the nail on the head, that's exactly what I'm talking about.

John Gurda even mentions in the documentary that recent history is often a subject of conflict & debate with historians.
Yet just because some issues aren't yet resolved, I don't understand why historians can't just leave it open-ended and tell the story that has evolved up until today.

It's frustrating to me, because I believe that alot of Gen-Xers in particular are somewhat more interested in reading into events that have sprawled out before them during, or just prior to, their own lifetimes.
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Re: Levitan's Madison

Postby gozer » Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:15 am

i had no difficulty setting aside my low opinion of mr levitan as a person and his manner of participation in this community's politics at least in recent years not to mention i.d.p.f. when reading this book (after that i read an ann coulter book, which was not that good) and i don't think it warrants any comparison to the mollenhofff book by any measure. the latter is an excellent treatment of the subject which i hope could be followed up by a volume ii that would cover 1920-1965 and a volume iii for 1965 to the present.

the ruff & will book about the history of dane county is fantastic and the best history of madison for the whole period that i have seen, but maybe using it as the definitive text on madison history is using it in a manner inconsistent with its labelling heh heh heh
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Postby Stu Levitan » Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:45 am

My book and David's are vastly different books with different functions. Certainly, his is a far more complete and comprehensive history, really an outstanding work; I like to think mine is a bit more accessible and punchier (with a lot more pictures). Different strokes for different folks. A group of us started planning a second volume matching David's level of scholarship, but we concluded we couldn't raise the several hundred thousand dollars it would take (David had the services of several research assistants and significant foundation grants, which I did not).

BTW - what with the second printing soon to hit shelves {the first 5,000 copies are about all sold out}, I'll be giving a slide show adapted from the book on the UW in city history, 1850-1935 in the Frederick March Play Circle from 7-9 on Tuesday, Oct. 16. {One of two rooms in the Memorial Union named after a former member of the Honorary Junior Ku Klux Klan Society}.

And for those who prefer Allen Ruff, I'll be interviewing Allen on his new novel on Sunday Journal on Oct. 7 on 92.1, The MIC. See how nicely this all works out?
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Postby gozer » Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:10 pm

indeed it does -- as u have pointed out the mollenhoff book and this one are apples and oranges or apples and pears. i do in fact give the book a c+ and this thread has actually inspired me to pick it back up. the market for books on this and related topics is far from saturated of course.

does anyone know if there is any chance of additional volumes of the mollenhoff book? anyone else interested in doing a book of that format of the period from 1920 to c.a. 1965 and from then to present?
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