Welcome to Boswell Book Company's website!

Selected upcoming events below. Visit our upcoming event page for a more complete listing.


You're on the Boswell Book Company page and our guess is that you want to know where we're located and how to get a hold of us. Here are the basics:

Our address is Boswell Book Company, 2559 N. Downer Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53211. This is our only location. Don't let a yellow pages tell you otherwise. The store is located on the same block as the Downer Theater, up the bluff from Lincoln Memorial Drive. We're north of Columbia St. Mary's Hospital and south of UWM. We're also pretty much on the southernmost tip of Lake Drive.

Our phone number is 414-332-1181. Sometimes you'll see other numbers appear on your phone when we call you, as we have multiple lines. This is our only number that has a classic exchange--EDgewood, if you are into these things.

Our email contact info is info@boswellbooks.com, if you'd like to place a special order or get basic info about an event or are wondering about our hours.

Speaking of hours, we're open 10 am to 9 pm from Monday through Saturday, and 10 am to 6 pm on Sunday. We're closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and there are about five holidays where we're open 10 am to 5 pm, plus we sometimes close early for events and meetings. You can assume that if we have a ticketed event in the store, we're closed to the public around 5:30.  

We've heard that after location and contact info, the reason why folks visit websites like ours is to find out about events. We keep our events on one upcoming event page, but some highlights are listed below, generally our ticketed events, but sometimes a few others are included.

And the third reason folks visit is to order books. Our site search engine is not as good as some of our well-financed online competitors, but it will do. One of the nice things we like to point out is that you can check inventory and even the subsection of the book, but be aware, the number does not take into account customer holds, receiving errors, and general misshelving. As we like to say, we just need one person to put a book back in the wrong place for it to be lost forever, or at least until we do our next section check. Our system allows you to put a book on hold without first registering an account. Try it!

 

Wenesday, November 29, 7 pm, at Boswell .

In addition to exposing racially biased policing, the Justice Department's Ferguson Report exposed to the world a system of fines and fees levied for minor crimes in Ferguson, Missouri, that, when they proved too expensive for Ferguson's largely poor, African American population, resulted in jail sentences for thousands of people.

As former staffer to Robert F. Kennedy and current Georgetown law professor Peter Edelman explains in Not a Crime to Be Poor, Ferguson is everywhere in America today. Through money bail systems, fees and fines, strictly enforced laws and regulations against behavior including trespassing and public urination that largely affect the homeless, and the substitution of prisons and jails for the mental hospitals that have traditionally served the impoverished. Simply put, that we have effectively made it a crime to be poor in one of the richest countries on Earth.

Edelman, who famously resigned from the administration of Bill Clinton over welfare "reform," connects the dots between these policies and others including school discipline in poor communities, child support policies affecting the poor, public housing ordinances, addiction treatment, and the specter of public benefits fraud to paint a picture of a mean-spirited, retributive system that seals whole communities into inescapable cycles of poverty.

About the Author: Peter Edelman is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy and the faculty director of the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University Law Center. Edelman was a top advisor to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and served in President Bill Clinton's administration.


Thursday, November 30, 7pm, at Jewish Community Center, 6255 N Santa Monica Blvd.

The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center presents Tapestry: Art and Ideas series with Francine Klagsbrun, cosponsored by Boswell.

Golda Meir was a world figure unlike any other. Born in tsarist Russia in 1898, she immigrated to America in 1906 and grew up in Milwaukee, where from her earliest years she displayed the political consciousness and organizational skills that would eventually catapult her into the inner circles of Israel's founding generation. Moving to mandatory Palestine in 1921 with her husband, the passionate socialist joined a kibbutz but soon left and was hired at a public works office by the man who would become the great love of her life. A series of public service jobs brought her to the attention of David Ben-Gurion, and her political career took off. Fund-raising in America in 1948, secretly meeting in Amman with King Abdullah right before Israel's declaration of independence, mobbed by thousands of Jews in a Moscow synagogue in 1948 as Israel's first representative to the USSR, serving as minister of labor and foreign minister in the 1950s and 1960s, Golda brought fiery oratory, plainspoken appeals, and shrewd deal-making to the cause to which she had dedicated her life - the welfare and security of the State of Israel and its inhabitants.

As prime minister, Golda negotiated arms agreements with Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and had dozens of clandestine meetings with Jordan's King Hussein in the unsuccessful pursuit of a land-for-peace agreement with Israel's neighbors. But her time in office ended in tragedy, when Israel was caught off guard by Egypt and Syria's surprise attack on Yom Kippur in 1973. Analyzing newly available documents from Israeli government archives, Francine Klagsbrun looks into whether Golda could have prevented that war and whether in its darkest days she contemplated using nuclear force. Resigning in the war's aftermath, she spent her final years keeping a hand in national affairs and bemusedly enjoying international acclaim. Klagsbrun's superbly researched and masterly recounted story of Israel's founding mother gives us a Golda for the ages.

About the Author: Francine Klagsbrun is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Fourth Commandment: Remember the Sabbath Day and Married People: Staying Together in the Age of Divorce. She is a regular columnist for The Jewish Week, a contributing editor to Lilith, and on the editorial board of Hadassah magazine. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, and Ms. Magazine.


Tuesday, December 5, 12 pm, at Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 W Watertown Plank Rd

For many of the 40 million Americans who undergo anesthesia each year, it is the source of great fear and fascination. From the famous first demonstration of anesthesia in the Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1846 to today's routine procedure that controls anxiety, memory formation, pain relief, and more, anesthesia has come a long way. But it remains one of the most extraordinary, unexplored corners of the medical world.

In Counting Backwards, Dr. Henry Jay Przybylo - a pediatric anesthesiologist with more than thirty years of experience - delivers an unforgettable account of the procedure's daily dramas and fundamental mysteries. Przybylo has administered anesthesia more than 30,000 times in his career - erasing consciousness, denying memory, and immobilizing the body, and then reversing all of these effects - on newborn babies, screaming toddlers, sullen teenagers, even a gorilla. With compassion and candor, he weaves his experiences into an intimate exploration of the nature of consciousness, the politics of pain relief, and the wonder of modern medicine.

Filled with intensity and humanity, with moments of near-disaster, life-saving success, and simple grace, Counting Backwards is for anyone curious about what happens after we lose consciousness.

Please note: This event is free and open to the public. 

About the Author: Henry Jay Przybylo, MD is an associate professor of anesthesiology at Northwestern University School of Medicine. He also holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College.


Sergio M. Gonzalez, author of Mexicans in Wisconsin
Tuesday, December 5, 6 pm, at Milwaukee Public Library Mitchell St Branch, 906 W Mitchell St.

From agricultural and factory workers to renowned writers and musicians, the Mexican immigrants who have made their homes in Wisconsin over the past century have become a significant and diverse part of this state's cultural and economic history. Coming from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds, the earliest Mexican immigrants traveled north in search of better economic opportunities and relief from the violence and economic turmoil of the Mexican Revolution.

They found work in tanneries and foundries, and on beet farms where they replaced earlier European immigrant workers who had moved on to family farms. As Mexican immigration has grown to the present day, these families have become integral members of Wisconsin communities, building businesses, support systems, and religious institutions. But their experience has also been riddled with challenges, as they have fought for adequate working conditions, access to education, and acceptance amid widespread prejudice. In this concise history, learn the fascinating stories of this vibrant and resilient immigrant population: from the Tejano migrant workers who traveled north seasonally to work in the state's cucumber fields, to the determined labor movement led by Jesus Salas, to the young activists of the Chicano Movement, and beyond.

About the Author: Sergio M. Gonzalez is a doctoral candidate in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of History with research interests in American labor, immigration, and working class history. His research investigates Milwaukee's Latino community throughout the twentieth century, focusing on the role of religion in creating interethnic and intraethnic communities, organizations, and social justice movements.


Wednesday, December 6, 7 pm, at Boswell

In the summer of 1906, a Milwaukee businessman set out with his young sons and some friends to canoe and camp in the north woods of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Canada. It was the first of several month-long journeys Howard Greene and "The Gang" would make over the years, each detailed in remarkable, handmade journals and documented in hundreds of large-format photographs. Reproduced here with a large selection of photographs and maps, these journals convey readers into a riverine world of outdoor adventure - a northland wilderness and way of life that were, even as Howard Greene charted their genuine charms, already vanishing.

Introduced and annotated by Greene's daughter, these observant narratives run rapids and portage and paddle lakes and rivers, including the Chippewa, Wisconsin, St. Croix, and Presque Isle as well as traveling in areas now in Quetico Provincial Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Along the way Greene, a skilled photographer, captures images of logging and mining operations, primitive dams and even more primitive camping, trading posts, and many remote Native American villages. Through it all runs the story of family and friendship forged over campfires in the north woods, reported with dry wit, a keen eye for detail, and an abiding interest in the natural world.

Composed decades before Sigurd Olson or Calvin Rutstrum began documenting the wild life of the upper Midwest, Howard Greene's journals are a window into a world at once familiar and strange, the wilderness caught on the verge of becoming the North Woods we know today.

Also interesting to note: Greene lived in several homes on Milwaukee’s East Side.

About the Author: Martha Greene Phillips spent several years researching her father's canoeing and camping adventures and editing and annotating his journals of those trips. She is the author of The Floating Boathouses on the Upper Mississippi River and lives near Madison, Wisconsin.


Thursday, December 7, 7 pm, at Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, 6255 N Santa Monica Blvd

The Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center presents, David E. Fishman. This event is cosponsored by Boswell.

The Book Smugglers is the nearly unbelievable story of ghetto residents who rescued thousands of rare books and manuscripts - first from the Nazis and then from the Soviets - by hiding them on their bodies, burying them in bunkers, and smuggling them across borders. It is a tale of heroism and resistance, of friendship and romance, and of unwavering devotion - including the readiness to risk one's life - to literature and art. And it is entirely true.

Based on Jewish, German, and Soviet documents, including diaries, letters, memoirs, and the author's interviews with several of the story's participants, The Book Smugglers chronicles the daring activities of a group of poets turned partisans and scholars turned smugglers in Vilna, "The Jerusalem of Lithuania."

The rescuers were pitted against Johannes Pohl, a Nazi "expert" on the Jews, who had been dispatched to Vilna by the Nazi looting agency, Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, to organize the seizure of the city's great collections of Jewish books. Pohl and his Einsatzstab staff planned to ship the most valuable materials to Germany and incinerate the rest. The Germans used forty ghetto inmates as slave-laborers to sort, select, pack, and transport the materials, either to Germany or to nearby paper mills. This group, nicknamed "the Paper Brigade," and informally led by poet Shmerke Kaczerginski, a garrulous, street-smart adventurer and master of deception, smuggled thousands of books and manuscripts past German guards. If caught, the men would have faced death by firing squad at Ponar, the mass-murder site outside of Vilna.

Thoroughly researched by the foremost scholar of the Vilna Ghetto - a writer of exceptional daring, style, and reach - The Book Smugglers is an epic story of human heroism, a little-known tale from the blackest days of the war.

About the Author: David E. Fishman teaches history at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. His involvement with the story recounted in The Book Smugglers began twenty-five years ago, when he was invited to consult on items discovered in a former church in Vilnius.


A Holiday Party with Elizabeth Berg, author of The Story of Arthur Truluv
Friday, December 8, 7 pm, at Boswell

Join us for a Holiday party celebration with bestselling novelist Elizabeth Berg. Festive refreshments, including some delicious holiday cookies, will be provided during the talk.

The Story of Arthur Truluv is a moving novel about three people who have lost the person they love most, and must find their way back to happiness. Arthur, a widower, meets Maddy, an angry and friendless teenage girl, while visiting his late wife at the cemetery, where he goes every day for lunch. Against all odds, the two strike up a friendship that pulls them out of a serious rut. They band together with Arthur's nosy neighbor Lucille, to create lives that are truly worth living.

About the Author: Elizabeth Berg is the author of many bestselling novels, including Open House (an Oprah's Book Club selection), Talk Before Sleep, and The Year of Pleasures, as well as the short story collection The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted. She is the founder of Writing Matters, a quality reading series dedicated to serving author, audience, and community. She teaches one-day writing workshops and is a popular speaker at venues around the country.


Check out a more complete listing of our upcoming events here.