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Chicago: A Biography

Chicago: A Biography Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Chicago has been called by many names. Nelson Algren declared it a and#8220;City on the Make.and#8221; Carl Sandburg dubbed it the and#8220;City of Big Shoulders.and#8221; Upton Sinclair christened it and#8220;The Jungle,and#8221; while New Yorkers, naturally, pronounced it and#8220;the Second City.and#8221;

At last there is a book for all of us, whatever we choose to call Chicago. In this magisterial biography, historian Dominic Pacygatraces the storied past of his hometown, from the explorations of Joliet and Marquette in 1673 to the new wave of urban pioneers today. The cityand#8217;s great industrialists, reformers, and politiciansand#8212;and, indeed, the many not-so-great and downright notoriousand#8212;animate this book, from Al Capone and Jane Addams to Mayor Richard J. Daley and President Barack Obama. But what distinguishes this book from the many others on the subject is its authorand#8217;s uncommon ability to illuminate the lives of Chicagoand#8217;s ordinary people. Raised on the cityand#8217;s South Side and employed for a time in the stockyards, Pacygaand#160;gives voice to the cityand#8217;s steelyard workers and kill floor operators, and maps the neighborhoods distinguished not by Louis Sullivan masterworks, but by bungalows and corner taverns.

and#160;Filled with the cityand#8217;s one-of-a-kind characters and all of its defining moments, Chicago: A Biography is as big and boisterous as its namesakeand#8212;and as ambitious as the men and women who built it.

About the Author

Dominic Pacyga is the award-winning author or coauthor of several books, including Polish Immigrants and Industrial Chicago: Workers on the South Side, 1880and#8211;1922, also published by the University of Chicago Press. He teaches in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Writing an Urban Biography

1:and#160; Location, Location, Location!

The French and#8212; Point de Sable and the Coming of the Americans and#8212; The Yankees, the Canal, and the Railroads and#8212; Ethnic Diversity and#8212; Lake Street That Great Street

2: Emporium of the West

Early Industry and#8212; Growth Problems and#8212; The Threat of War and#8212; The Civil War and#8212; The Wartime Economy and#8212; The Industrial New Age and#8212;- The New Relationship between Workers and Owners

3: The Era of Urban Chaos

A Wooden Immigrant City on the Prairie and#8212; The Great Chicago Fire and#8212; The Clash between Labor and Capital and#8212; The Capital of Radicalism and#8212; Haymarket and#8212; The Loop: A Dark Vision of the Future and#8212; The Levee

4: Reacting to Chaos: Pullman, the West Side, and the Loop

The West Side: The Communal Response and#8212; The Elite Response: George Pullman and#8212; The Middle-Class Reform Response: Jane Addams and#8212; The Loop: An Architectural Response and#8212; The Columbian Exposition and#8212; Paradise Lost: The Pullman Strike

5: The Progressive and Not So Progressive City

The Continued Clash of Social Classes and#8212; Chicagoand#8217;s Progressive Politics and#8212; The Progressive Accomplishment and#8212; Green Spaces for the Poor and Great Plans and#8212; The Problem of Housing the Poor and#8212; Big Bill Thompson and the End of Progressivism

6: The Immigrant Capital and World War I

Immigrant City and#8212;- World War I and#8212; Poison, Hysteria, Politics, and Ethnic Conflict and#8212; World War I and the Labor Movement and#8212; The Great Migration and#8212; 1919: Annus Mirabilis

7: Twentieth-Century Metropolis

The Attack on Immigrants and#8212; The Bungalow and the New Ethnic Metropolisand#160; and#8212; Black Metropolis and#8212; Popular Culture and#8212; The Automobile and#8212; Gangland

8: Years of Crises: Depression and War

Unemployment and#8212; Anton Cermak and the Birth of the Democratic Machine and#8212; Kelly-Nash: A New Democratic Day and#8212; The Urge to Organize: Neighborhoods and#8212; The Urge to Organize: Labor and#8212; World War II: Emporium of the United Nations

9: Chicago after the War: Changing Times

The Postwar Democrats and#8212; The Problem of Race and#8212; Englewood: Angeline Jacksonand#8217;s Neighborhood and#8212; Ted Swigonand#8217;s Back of the Yards: A Shifting Landscape and#8212; Reaction to Change and#8212; Arguing over Urban Renewal and#8212; Violence: The Murder of Alvin Palmer and#8212; Postwar Suburbs and#8212; Deindustrialization: The Stockyards

10: Daleyand#8217;s City

Building the Modern City: Public Housing and Expressways and#8212; Daleyand#8217;s Prime and#8212; Black Chicago and#8212; 1968: The Whole World Is Watching

11: Apocalypse and#8220;Nowand#8221; or Regeneration?

The Tragedy of Michael Bilandic and#8212; Deindustrialization: Phase Two and#8212; Seeds of a New Loop and#8212; Jane Byrne and the Politics of Angst and#8212; 1983: Itand#8217;s Harold! and#8212; The Second Daley and#8212; Shifts in the Economy and Immigration and#8212; Still the City of Immigrants and#8212;- A City Transformed? Race and Class in the Global City

Conclusion: Transforming Chicago and America




Product Details

University of Chicago Press
Chicago (Ill.) History.
Pacyga, Dominic A.
United States - State & Local - General
United States - State & Local - Midwest
General Social Science
World History-General
United States - General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
145 halftones, 7 maps
10 x 7 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » Illinois
History and Social Science » Americana » Midwest
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Chicago: A Biography
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Product details 472 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226644318 Reviews:
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