Watch as John investigates Milwaukee history and how we are the link between past and future.

About the speaker

John Gurda is a Milwaukee-born writer and historian who has been studying his hometown since 1972. He is the author of twenty-one books, including histories of Milwaukee-area neighborhoods, industries, and places of worship. The Making of Milwaukee is Gurda’s most ambitious effort. With 450 pages and more than 500 illustrations, it is the first full-length history of the community published since 1948. He served as scriptwriter and host of an Emmy Award-winning documentary series based on the book in 2006. Milwaukee: City of Neighborhoods, a richly illustrated geographic companion to the general history, followed in 2015.

In addition to his work as an author, Gurda is a lecturer, tour guide, and local history columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. His undergraduate degree is a B.A. in English from Boston College, and he holds an M.A. in Cultural Geography and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The common thread in all of Gurda’s work is an understanding of history as “why things are the way they are.”

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