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.