Review: Milwaukee Mafia (2012)

  • November 1, 2012
  • James Skemp
  • review

The following if a review of Milwaukee Mafia (2012), written by Gavin Schmitt.

Is a picture worth a thousand words?

First, I should note that I’ve known the author for around a decade, so my review have some level of bias.

Second, having followed the project, and been part of the Kickstarter effort, my experience with the book has been fairly long and diverse. While I was initially expecting a typical, written, book, Milwaukee Mafia, as the fact that it’s part of the ‘Images of America’ series, consists mostly of photos, all with captions, and short introductions beginning each of the six chapters.

So, while they say a picture is worth a thousand words, when it comes to history, sometimes you need a well written story to tie all the photos/images together. Again, I may have some bias, but having read the author’s works on his Web site (something you too can do), as well as his notes on the subject matter, know that there’s much more behind these photos.

As for the physical book, this is my first from Arcadia Publishing. The quality of the book is amazing, with nice smooth pages, which definitely helps given that this book does contain mostly photos (I didn’t see a count, but definitely over 200). Given the subject matter, a number of these are being seen here for the first time (publicly).

While I want to give this book 5 stars, I’ve decided 4 would be a better review. First to offset my bias and second because I would have loved to read more of the story behind this images. True, the series is called ‘Images of America,’ so it contains … images of America, but I can’t help but want to read more.

For the above reasons, I give Milwaukee Mafia 4 of 5 stars, as I definitely wanted to learn more after reading this book.