So I got the new 2011 book Tavern League: Portraits of Wisconsin Bars by Carl Corey from the Library, which consists of a foreword and an introduction (the foreword of which is incredibly bourgie courtesy of Vincent Varga to give Corey artistic credit), and 60 photos with no descriptives aside from the name of the bar and the town in which it is located. Personally I find all the photos of rural/small town taverns quite depressing.
I've also read 2003's Badger Bars & Tavern Tales by Bill Moen and Doug Davis, which was more of a historical account in text.
While Badger Bars & Tavern Tales had no bars from Madison or Milwaukee included, upon release of their book they stated they had plans for a book on Madison & Milwaukee bars in the same historical angle of Badger Bars. Unfortunately this never came to fruition.
While the vast majority of bars included in Tavern League are bars in "don't drive too fast or you'll miss it" towns, they actually did include photos of a few Milwaukee bars (At Random, Jamo's, Palomino Bar, Thurmans "15", Von Trier Tavern, Wolski's Tavern).
Sadly, no Madison bars were included. From the WSJ Article; "Notably absent from his book are neighborhood bars in Madison. “I’d assumed that all the bars in Madison were student bars,” Corey said. “I was very wrong.”
So there you have it. Two books in the last ten years on Wisconsin bars by people who aren't native Wisconsinites. Corey is someone who fled the pressures of big city life in Chicago and retreated to Hudson, and the authors of Badger Bars included a Minnesotan and a resident of Superior(?).
My question is, when is someone going to do a book on Madison & Milwaukee bars, both the new and the old, combining the historical type accounts present in Badger Bars with the crafted color photographs present in Tavern League?
And perhaps have it written by an actual Madison/Milwaukee resident.
What books, zines or other pulp are you reading? What aren't you reading? What should everyone else read?
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