It tells you just about anything you need to know concerning our town, and we've been doing it every August for 26 years. What is it? Why, the Annual Manual, of course, and you, lucky reader, have the latest edition free with this week's Isthmus. Ain't life grand?
This year's version continues the observance of Madison's sesquicentennial with the lead story, "Representative Women." It celebrates the role of women in establishing and developing this city - economically, socially and politically. Supplements editor Linda Falkenstein, who is responsible for shepherding the compilation of the entire Annual Manual, also researched and penned the article. From the first lady of Madison, Rosaline Peck, right through to today, it documents the women who have been a stabilizing and progressive force in Madison. Though they have had a great impact, they are little heralded in the city's lore. Perhaps this article will help balance the scales a bit.
There are a lot of other helpful features in the An Man that our readers have come to rely on through the years. News editor Bill Lueders delivers another version of "A Madison Almanac," a compendium of interesting facts about Madison and Dane County, amusingly illustrated by Paul Stroede. (If you've ever wondered what Bill Lueders looks like....)
And then there are the maps, updated once again by our resident map guru, David Michael Miller, with even more points of interest, important buildings and institutions. Of course, we mustn't forget Madison's Favorites. In June we ask readers what they like in 89 categories, broken into groups such as Shopping, Nightlife and Eats. In August we report the results, with synopses penned mostly by staff. And the entire magazine is illustrated with an orgy of photographs, also perpetrated by Isthmus staff.
Not enough? How about a resource directory that lists venues, groups, media and more? You may not need to know it all now, but you will someday. Want more? How about the most comprehensive restaurant listings in Madison? Still not enough? Okay, we'll throw in a calendar of significant events for the upcoming year. And we'll add some handy, color-coded tabs to help you find your way around in the book.
I think we have a deal here. We give you the info; you live the good life in Madison, Wisconsin. No wonder the Annual Manual is the most imitated publication we've ever done, not just in Madison, but in cities throughout the country. We hope it meets with your satisfaction.