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You Were Never in Chicago (Chicago Visions and Revisions)


You Were Never in Chicago (Chicago Visions and Revisions) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1952 the New Yorker published a three-part essay by A. J. Liebling in which he dubbed Chicago the "Second City." From garbage collection to the skyline, nothing escaped Liebling's withering gaze. Among the outraged responses from Chicago residents was one that Liebling described as the apotheosis of such criticism: a postcard that read, simply, "You were never in Chicago."

Neil Steinberg has lived in and around Chicago for more than three decades—ever since he left his hometown of Berea, Ohio, to attend Northwestern—yet he remains fascinated by the dynamics captured in Liebling's anecdote. In You Were Never in Chicago Steinberg weaves the story of his own coming-of-age as a young outsider who made his way into the inner circles and upper levels of Chicago journalism with a nuanced portrait of the city that would surprise even lifelong residents.

Steinberg takes readers through Chicago's vanishing industrial past and explores the city from the quaint skybridge between the towers of the Wrigley Building, to the depths of the vast Deep Tunnel system below the streets. He deftly explains the city's complex web of political favoritism and carefully profiles the characters he meets along the way, from greats of jazz and journalism to small-business owners just getting by. Throughout, Steinberg never loses the curiosity and close observation of an outsider, while thoughtfully considering how this perspective has shaped the city, and what it really means to belong. Intimate and layered, You Were Never in Chicago will be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of all Chicagoans, be they born in the city or forever transplanted.

About the Author

Neil Steinberg is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, where he has been on staff since 1987. He is the author of seven books, including Drunkard: A Hard-Drinking Life and Hatless Jack: The President, the Fedora, and the History of American Style.

Table of Contents

One   Manus manum lavat

Two   “God, I am in Chicago”

Three   “A tolerance for rubes”

Four   “Give her my regards”

Five   “Your show of shows”

Six   “Ill get you a judge”

Seven   In the sleeping room

Eight   “How long is it supposed to last?”

Nine   Annals of the paper tube trade

Ten   “A byutafl day in the palka”

Eleven   “You gave the money away?”

Twelve   A visit from the Angel Nacht

Thirteen  “A lot of broken hearts”

Fourteen  Driving with Ed McElroy

Fifteen   “Gee, ya think?”

Sixteen   The city in fog


Product Details

Steinberg, Neil
University of Chicago Press
Biography - General
Edition Description:
Chicago Visions and Revisions
Publication Date:
9 x 6 x 1 in

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Biography » General
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History and Social Science » World History » General
Languages » ESL » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Eastern Religions » Philosophy General

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