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  • Syndicate Women: Gender and Networks in Chicago Organized Crime

    Syndicate Women uncovers a unique historical puzzle: women composed a substantial part of Chicago organized crime in the early 1900s before Prohibition, but during Prohibition, when criminal opportunities increased for men and women, women were largely excluded from organized crime. The US prohibition of the production, transportation, and sale of intoxicating beverages, from 1920 to 1933, dramatically altered the criminal landscape. During Prohibition, Chicago organized crime tripled in size, became a more centralized organization, spread geographically, surged in profits, and left women behind. Syndicate Women solves this puzzle by interrogating relational theories, historical data, and criminal networks.
  • A Summer Up North: Henry Aaron and the Legend of Eau Claire Baseball

    June 12, 1952—only a local sportswriter showed up at the Eau Claire airport to greet a newly signed eighteen-year-old shortstop from Alabama toting a cardboard suitcase. "I was scared as hell," said Henry Aaron, recalling his arrival as the new recruit on the city’s Class C minor league baseball team. Forty-two years later, as Aaron approached the stadium where the Eau Claire Bears once played, an estimated five thousand people surrounded a newly raised bronze statue of a young "Hank" Aaron at bat. "I had goosebumps," he said later. "A lot of things happened to me in my twenty-three years as a ballplayer, but nothing touched me more than that day in Eau Claire." For the people of Eau Claire, Aaron’s summer two years before his Major League debut with the Milwaukee Braves symbolizes a magical time, when baseball fans in a small city in northern Wisconsin could live a part of the dream.
  • Don't Marry an American: A Memoir of Coming to America, Finding Love, a Better Life and Two Countries to Call Home

    In the mid-1970s, Ben, a Greek student attending the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, meets and falls in love with Shelley, a beautiful American classmate. Upon his graduation he must make a choice: will he keep his promise to his parents not to marry an American and return to Greece, or will he break his promise, marry Shelley and stay in America? His choice changed his life. Follow along on Ben's fascinating life journey from a poor village on Mount Olympus, Greece, to America and beyond, as he explores the stories that made it possible for him to find love, a better life, and two countries to call home. The stories will entertain and inspire you to contemplate your own life journey, and your family and own stories that shaped your life.
  • The Farm on Badger Creek: Memories of a Midwest Girlhood

    Small town Wisconsin native Peggy Prilaman Marxen recounts her family's rural farming life and its evolution from her settler ancestors to the modern day.