Chicago

1919

1919

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NPR Best Books of 2019
Chicago Tribune Best Books of 2019

Chicago Review of Books Best Poetry Book of 2019
O Magazine Best Books by Women of Summer 2019
The Millions Must-Read Poetry of June 2019
LitHub Most Anticipated Reads of Summer 2019


The Chicago Race Riot of 1919, the most intense of the riots comprising the nation's Red Summer, has shaped the last century but is not widely discussed. In 1919, award-winning poet Eve L. Ewing explores the story of this event--which lasted eight days and resulted in thirty-eight deaths and almost 500 injuries--through poems recounting the stories of everyday people trying to survive and thrive in the city. Ewing uses speculative and Afrofuturist lenses to recast history, and illuminates the thin line between the past and the present.

1933 CHICAGO WORLD'S FAIR: A C

1933 Chicago World's Fair:A Century of Progress

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Chicago's 1933 world's fair set a new direction for international expositions. Earlier fairs had exhibited technological advances, but Chicago's fair organizers used the very idea of progress to buoy national optimism during the Depression's darkest years. Orchestrated by business leaders and engineers, almost all former military men, the fair reflected a business-military-engineering model that envisioned a promising future through science and technology's application to everyday life.

But not everyone at Chicago's 1933 exposition had abandoned notions of progress that entailed social justice and equality, recognition of ethnicity and gender, and personal freedom and expression. The fair's motto, "Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Conforms," was challenged by iconoclasts such as Sally Rand, whose provocative fan dance became a persistent symbol of the fair, as well as a handful of other exceptional individuals, including African Americans, ethnic populations and foreign nationals, groups of working women, and even well-heeled socialites. Cheryl R. Ganz offers the stories of fair planners and participants who showcased education, industry, and entertainment to sell optimism during the depths of the Great Depression. This engaging history also features eighty-six photographs--nearly half of which are full color--of key locations, exhibits, and people, as well as authentic ticket stubs, postcards, pamphlets, posters, and other items.

A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago

A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago

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In 1921, Ben Hecht wrote a column for the Chicago Daily News that his editor called "journalism extraordinary; journalism that invaded the realm of literature." Hecht's collection of sixty-four of these pieces, illustrated with striking pen drawings by Herman Rosse, is a timeless caricature of urban American life in the jazz age, updated with a new Introduction for the twenty-first century. From the glittering opulence of Michigan Avenue to the darkest ruminations of an escaped convict, from captains of industry to immigrant day laborers, Hecht captures 1920s Chicago in all its furor, intensity, and absurdity.

"The hardboiled audacity and wit that became Hecht's signature as Hollywood's most celebrated screen-writer are conspicuous in these vignettes. Most of them are comic and sardonic, some strike muted tragic or somber atmospheric notes. . . . The best are timeless character sketches that have taken on an added interest as shards of social history."--L. S. Klepp, Voice Literary Supplement

ALGREN: A LIFE

ALGREN: A LIFE

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Chicago Writers Association Nonfiction Book of the Year (2017)
Society of Midland Authors Literary Award in Biography (2017)

A tireless champion of the downtrodden, Nelson Algren, one of the most celebrated writers of the 20th century, lived an outsider's life himself. He spent a month in prison as a young man for the theft of a typewriter; his involvement in Marxist groups earned him a lengthy FBI dossier; and he spent much of his life palling around with the sorts of drug addicts, prostitutes, and poor laborers who inspired and populated his novels and short stories.

Most today know Algren as the radical, womanizing writer of The Man with the Golden Arm, which won the first National Book Award, in 1950, but award-winning reporter Mary Wisniewski offers a deeper portrait. Starting with his childhood in the City of Big Shoulders, Algren sheds new light on the writer's most momentous periods, from his on-again-off-again work for the WPA to his stint as an uninspired soldier in World War II to his long-distance affair with his most famous lover, Simone de Beauvoir, to the sense of community and acceptance Algren found in the artist colony of Sag Harbor before his death in 1981.

Wisniewski interviewed dozens of Algren's closest friends and inner circle, including photographer Art Shay and author and historian Studs Terkel, and tracked down much of his unpublished writing and correspondence. She unearths new details about the writer's life, work, personality, and habits and reveals a funny, sensitive, and romantic but sometimes exasperating, insecure, and self-destructive artist. biography The first new biography of Algren in over 25 years, this fresh look at the man whose unique style and compassionate message enchanted readers and fellow writers and whose boyish charm seduced many women is indispensable to anyone interested in 20-century American literature and history.

Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City

Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City

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Ground-breaking when first published in 1945, Black Metropolis remains a landmark study of race and urban life. Few studies since have been able to match its scope and magnitude, offering one of the most comprehensive looks at black life in America. Based on research conducted by Works Progress Administration field workers, it is a sweeping historical and sociological account of the people of Chicago's South Side from the 1840s through the 1930s. Its findings offer a comprehensive analysis of black migration, settlement, community structure, and black-white race relations in the first half of the twentieth century. It offers a dizzying and dynamic world filled with captivating people and startling revelations.

A new foreword from sociologist Mary Pattillo places the study in modern context, updating the story with the current state of black communities in Chicago and the larger United States and exploring what this means for the future. As the country continues to struggle with race and our treatment of black lives, Black Metropolis continues to be a powerful contribution to the conversation.

Boystown Sex and Community in Chicago

Boystown Sex and Community in Chicago

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From neighborhoods as large as Chelsea or the Castro, to locales limited to a single club, like The Shamrock in Madison or Sidewinders in Albuquerque, gay areas are becoming normal. Straight people flood in. Gay people flee out. Scholars call this transformation assimilation, and some argue that we-gay and straight alike-are becoming "post-gay." Jason Orne argues that rather than post-gay, America is becoming "post-queer," losing the radical lessons of sex.

In Boystown, Orne takes readers on a detailed, lively journey through Chicago's Boystown, which serves as a model for gayborhoods around the country. The neighborhood, he argues, has become an entertainment district-a gay Disneyland-where people get lost in the magic of the night and where straight white women can "go on safari." In their original form, though, gayborhoods like this one don't celebrate differences; they create them. By fostering a space outside the mainstream, gay spaces allow people to develop an alternative culture-a queer culture that celebrates sex.

Orne spent three years doing fieldwork in Boystown, searching for ways to ask new questions about the connective power of sex and about what it means to be not just gay, but queer. The result is the striking Boystown, illustrated throughout with street photography by Dylan Stuckey. In the dark backrooms of raunchy clubs where bachelorettes wouldn't dare tread, people are hooking up and forging "naked intimacy." Orne is your tour guide to the real Boystown, then, where sex functions as a vital center and an antidote to assimilation.

Chicago Apartments

Chicago Apartments

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The Chicago lakefront is one of America's urban wonders. The ribbon of high-rise luxury apartment buildings along the Lake Michigan shore has few, if any, rivals nationwide for sustained architectural significance. This historic confluence of site, money, style, and development lies at the heart of the updated edition of Neil Harris's Chicago Apartments: A Century and Beyond of Lakefront Luxury. The book features more than one hundred buildings, stretching from south to north and across more than a century, each with its own special combination of design choice, floor plans, and background story. Harris, with the assistance of Teri J. Edelstein, proves to be an affable and knowledgeable tour guide, guiding us through dozens of buildings, detailing a host of inimitable development histories, design choices, floor plans, and more along the way. Of particular note are recent structures on the Chicago River and south of the Loop that are proposing new definitions of comfort and extravagance. Featuring nearly 350 stunning images and a foreword by renowned Chicago author Sara Paretsky, this new edition of Chicago Apartments offers a wide-ranging look inside some of the Windy City's most magnificent abodes.
Chicago by Day and Night

Chicago by Day and Night

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Showcasing the first Ferris wheel, dazzling and unprece­dented electrification, and exhibits from around the world, the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 was Chicago's chance to demonstrate that it had risen from the ashes of the Great Fire and was about to take its place as one of the world's great cities. Millions would flock to the fair, and many of them were looking for a good time before and after their visits to the Midway and the White City. But what was the bedazzled visitor to do in Chicago?

Chicago by Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker's Guide to the Paris of America, a very unofficial guide to the world be­yond the fair, slaked the thirst of such curious folk. The plea­sures it details range from the respectable (theater, architec­ture, parks, churches and synagogues) to the illicit--drink, gambling, and sex. With a wink and a nod, the book decries vice while offering precise directions for the indulgence of any desire. In this newly annotated edition, Chicagoans Paul Durica and Bill Savage--who, if born earlier, might have written chapters in the original--provide colorful context and an informative introduction to a wildly entertaining journey through the Chicago of 120 years ago.

Chicago by the Book 101 Publications That Shaped the City and Its Image

Chicago by the Book 101 Publications That Shaped the City and Its Image

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Despite its rough-and-tumble image, Chicago has long been identified as a city where books take center stage. In fact, a volume by A. J. Liebling gave the Second City its nickname. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle arose from the midwestern capital's most infamous industry. The great Chicago Fire led to the founding of the Chicago Public Library. The city has fostered writers such as Nelson Algren, Saul Bellow, and Gwendolyn Brooks. Chicago's literary magazines The Little Review and Poetry introduced the world to Eliot, Hemingway, Joyce, and Pound. The city's robust commercial printing industry supported a flourishing culture of the book. With this beautifully produced collection, Chicago's rich literary tradition finally gets its due.

Chicago by the Book profiles 101 landmark publications about Chicago from the past 170 years that have helped define the city and its image. Each title--carefully selected by the Caxton Club, a venerable Chicago bibliophilic organization--is the focus of an illustrated essay by a leading scholar, writer, or bibliophile.

Arranged chronologically to show the history of both the city and its books, the essays can be read in order from Mrs. John H. Kinzie's 1844 Narrative of the Massacre of Chicago to Sara Paretsky's 2015 crime novel Brush Back. Or one can dip in and out, savoring reflections on the arts, sports, crime, race relations, urban planning, politics, and even Mrs. O'Leary's legendary cow. The selections do not shy from the underside of the city, recognizing that its grit and graft have as much a place in the written imagination as soaring odes and boosterism. As Neil Harris observes in his introduction, "Even when Chicagoans celebrate their hearth and home, they do so while acknowledging deep-seated flaws." At the same time, this collection heartily reminds us all of what makes Chicago, as Norman Mailer called it, the "great American city."

With essays from, among others, Ira Berkow, Thomas Dyja, Ann Durkin Keating, Alex Kotlowitz, Toni Preckwinkle, Frank Rich, Don Share, Carl Smith, Regina Taylor, Garry Wills, and William Julius Wilson; and featuring works by Saul Bellow, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sandra Cisneros, Clarence Darrow, Erik Larson, David Mamet, Studs Terkel, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Frank Lloyd Wright, and many more.

Chicago Diaries of John M. Wing

Chicago Diaries of John M. Wing

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The personal— and often intimate— diaries of fledgling journalist and entrepreneur John Mansir Wing create a unique portrait of a rough-and-tumble Chicago in the first few years following the Civil War. Wing writes of a city filled with new immigrants, ex-soldiers, and the thriving merchant class making its fortunes from both before the great fire of 1871 left much of the city in ashes.

CHICAGO FOOD ENCYCLOPEDIA

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The Chicago Food Encyclopedia is a far-ranging portrait of an American culinary paradise. Hundreds of entries deliver all of the visionary restauranteurs, Michelin superstars, beloved haunts, and food companies of today and yesterday. More than 100 sumptuous images include thirty full-color photographs that transport readers to dining rooms and food stands across the city. Throughout, a roster of writers, scholars, and industry experts pays tribute to an expansive--and still expanding--food history that not only helped build Chicago but fed a growing nation. Pizza. Alinea. Wrigley Spearmint. Soul food. Rick Bayless. Hot Dogs. Koreatown. Everest. All served up A-Z, and all part of the ultimate reference on Chicago and its food.
CHICAGO RENAISSANCE: LITERATUR

Chicago Renaissance:Literature and Art in the Midwest Metropolis

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A fascinating history of Chicago's innovative and invaluable contributions to American literature and art from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century

This remarkable cultural history celebrates the great Midwestern city of Chicago for its centrality to the modernist movement. Author Liesl Olson traces Chicago's cultural development from the 1893 World's Fair through mid-century, illuminating how Chicago writers revolutionized literary forms during the first half of the twentieth century, a period of sweeping aesthetic transformations all over the world. From Harriet Monroe, Carl Sandburg, and Ernest Hemingway to Richard Wright and Gwendolyn Brooks, Olson's enthralling study bridges the gap between two distinct and equally vital Chicago-based artistic "renaissance" moments: the primarily white renaissance of the early teens, and the creative ferment of Bronzeville. Stories of the famous and iconoclastic are interwoven with accounts of lesser-known yet influential figures in Chicago, many of whom were women. Olson argues for the importance of Chicago's editors, bookstore owners, tastemakers, and ordinary citizens who helped nurture Chicago's unique culture of artistic experimentation.

Cover art by Lincoln Schatz

Chicago Then and Now

Chicago Then and Now

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Chicago is a city that through history has triumphed over nature and disaster. It has bounced back from a calamitous fire, re-engineered the flow of the Chicago River and challenged gravity with a series of pioneering skyscrapers. Chicago Then and Now pairs archival photos with modern views to tell the story of the city's rich history. It is a story of determination and pride, and the evocative photos on these pages reflect the many faces of Chicago's heritage. Sites include: Grant Park, Lincoln Park, Wabash Avenue, Lake Street, Marshall Field's, State Street, Palmer House, Reliance Building, the Chicago, Majestic and Biograph Theatres, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Cultural Center, South Michigan Avenue, North Michigan Avenue, Board of Trade Building, The Rookery, Old Colony Building, Dearborn Street Station, Chicago and North Western Terminal, Illinois Central Railyards, State Street Bridge, Michigan Avenue Bridge (cover image), Wacker Drive, Chicago River from the Wrigley Building, Water Tower, Lake Shore Drive, Navy Pier, Oak Street Beach, Merchandise Mart, Wrigley Field, Comiskey Park, the Union Stockyards, and much more.
CHICAGO: A BIOGRAPHY

CHICAGO: A BIOGRAPHY

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

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 city's great industrialists, reformers, and politicians--and, indeed, the many not-so-great and downright notorious--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 author's uncommon ability to illuminate the lives of Chicago's ordinary people. Raised on the city's South Side and employed for a time in the stockyards, Pacyga gives voice to the city's steelyard workers and kill floor operators, and maps the neighborhoods distinguished not by Louis Sullivan masterworks, but by bungalows and corner taverns.

Filled with the city's one-of-a-kind characters and all of its defining moments, Chicago: A Biography is as big and boisterous as its namesake--and as ambitious as the men and women who built it.

Citizen Illegal

Citizen Illegal

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"Citizen Illegal is right on time, bringing both empathy and searing critique to the fore as a nation debates the very humanity of the people who built it." --Eve Ewing, author of Electric Arches

In this stunning debut, poet José Olivarez explores the stories, contradictions, joys, and sorrows that embody life in the spaces between Mexico and America. He paints vivid portraits of good kids, bad kids, families clinging to hope, life after the steel mills, gentrifying barrios, and everything in between. Drawing on the rich traditions of Latinx and Chicago writers like Sandra Cisneros and Gwendolyn Brooks, Olivarez creates a home out of life in the in-between. Combining wry humor with potent emotional force, Olivarez takes on complex issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and immigration using an everyday language that invites the reader in. Olivarez has a unique voice that makes him a poet to watch.

José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. He is a co-host of the podcast, The Poetry Gods. A winner of fellowships from Poets House, The Bronx Council On The Arts, The Poetry Foundation, and The Conversation Literary Festival, his work has been published in The BreakBeat Poets and elsewhere. He is the Marketing Manager at Young Chicago Authors.

Clark Street

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Creating the Land of Lincoln: The History and Constitutions of Illinois, 1778-1870

Creating the Land of Lincoln: The History and Constitutions of Illinois, 1778-1870

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In its early days, Illinois seemed destined to extend the American South. Its population of transplants lived an upland southern culture and in some cases owned slaves. Yet the nineteenth century and three constitutions recast Illinois as a crucible of northern strength and American progress. Frank Cicero Jr. provides an appealing new history of Illinois as expressed by the state's constitutions--and the lively conventions that led to each one. In Creating the Land of Lincoln, Cicero sheds light on the vital debates of delegates who, freed from electoral necessity, revealed the opinions, prejudices, sentiments, and dreams of Illinoisans at critical junctures in state history. Cicero simultaneously analyzes decisions large and small that fostered momentous social and political changes. The addition of northern land in the 1818 constitution, for instance, opened up the state to immigrant populations that reoriented Illinois to the north. Legislative abuses and rancor over free blacks influenced the 1848 document and the subsequent rise of a Republican Party that gave the nation Abraham Lincoln as its president. Cicero concludes with the 1870 constitution, revealing how its dialogues and resolutions set the state on the modern course that still endures today.
Creative Chicago: An Interview Marathon

Creative Chicago: An Interview Marathon

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On September 29, 2018, before a live audience at Navy Pier in Chicago, international curator Hans Ulrich Obrist conducted his first US Marathon interview session as part of Art Design Chicago, a yearlong celebration of Chicago's art and design legacy initiated by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Obrist, who has undertaken a life-long project of interviewing cultural figures, spoke with more than twenty of Chicago's most innovative and influential artists, designers, architects, writers, and other creatives. In their interviews, this diverse group of creatives provided insights into their artistic processes, influences, and ideas about and hopes for their shared city of Chicago. Among the participants were social-practice artist/developer Theaster Gates, architect Jeanne Gang, writer Eve Ewing, Hairy Who artists Art Green and Suellen Rocca, performance/installation artist Shani Crowe, and the city's cultural historian Tim Samuelson. Creative Chicago: An Interview Marathon serves as documentation for this event, including edited transcripts of the interviews, biographies of the participants, photos of the event, and images of the artists' work.
Dil Pickle Club: Chicago's Wild 20s!

Dil Pickle Club: Chicago's Wild 20s!

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What do Lucy Parsons, Clarence Darrow, Carl Sandburg, Mary MacLane, Lawrence Lipton, Elizabeth Davis (Queen of the Hoboes), Jun Fujita, Sherwood Anderson, Ralph Chaplin, Katherine Dunham, Djuna Barnes, Kenneth Rexroth, Sam Dolgoff, and Slim Brundage have in common? They were all Dil Picklers!

Founded in 1914 by former Wobbly Jack Jones, Irish revolutionist Jim Larkin, and a group of fantastic IWW-oriented Bughouse Square hobos and soapboxers, the Dil Pickle Club, in just a few years, was widely recognized as the wildest, most playful, most creative, and most radical nightspot in the known universe especially after Dr. Ben Reitman joined the club in 1917.

In this book, Franklin Rosemont has collected forty-one reminiscences of the Dil Pickle by poets, artists, journalists, novelists, hobos, scholars, anarchist, wobblies, and other assorted radicals and oddballs.

DUGAN'S BISTRO AND THE LEGEND

DUGAN'S BISTRO AND THE LEGEND

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Dugan's Bistro was the hottest gay disco in Chicago. From 1973-1982, the sign above the door and on the club's matchbooks read: "Dugan's Bistro, the Home of the Bearded Lady." A Chicago nightlife phenomenon, the Bearded Lady was a unique celebrity who, for over a decade, was covered regularly in gay newspapers and magazines, gossip columns of the Chicago Tribune and Sun Times, and several national and international publications. Despite his fame, much of BL's life has remained a mystery, until now.

Dugan's Bistro and the Legend of the Bearded Lady is a folklore-bio of the Disco Era - a time and place that were key in the evolution of Chicago's LGBT community. The Bearded Lady's story is a gateway to the decadent nightlife and exuberance of a "lost" generation - and what happened after the party ended.

EASTLAND DISASTER

EASTLAND DISASTER

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More than 7,000 people living in the Chicago area and Michigan City, Indiana, eagerly anticipated Saturday morning, July 24, 1915. This particular Saturday was going to be anything but a routine summer day. Plans had been carefully made for it to be the social and entertainment event of the year, and for some, a lifetime. The fifth annual midsummer excursion and picnic had been organized by the employees of the Western Electric Company's Hawthorne Works. Thousands of carefree merrymakers would enjoy a festive day including a lovely cruise across Lake Michigan to an awaiting parade and day-long picnic. The day would conclude with an evening cruise back to Chicago. For thousands of hard-working immigrant laborers and their families and friends, it was going to be a day to remember. Instead, the day's scheduled event turned into a tragedy unlike any other. The SS Eastland, while still tied to the wharf, rolled into the Chicago River with more than 2,500 passengers on board. Nearly 850 people lost their lives, including 22 entire families. The ensuing struggle for survival, and the resulting death, heroism, cowardice, greed, and scandal gripped the city of Chicago.
ESSENTIAL GWENDOLYN BROOKS

ESSENTIAL GWENDOLYN BROOKS

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Discover the most enduring works of legendary poet Gwendolyn Brooks--the first black author to win a Pulitzer Prize--in one collectible volume

"If you wanted a poem," wrote Gwendolyn Brooks, "you only had to look out of a window. There was material always, walking or running, fighting or screaming or singing." From the life of Chicago's South Side she made a forceful and passionate poetry that fused Modernist aesthetics with African-American cultural tradition, a poetry that registered the life of the streets and the upheavals of the 20th century. Starting with A Street in Bronzeville (1945), her epoch-making debut volume, The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks traces the full arc of her career in all its ambitious scope and unexpected stylistic shifts.

"Her formal range," writes editor Elizabeth Alexander, "is most impressive, as she experiments with sonnets, ballads, spirituals, blues, full and off-rhymes. She is nothing short of a technical virtuoso." That technical virtuosity was matched by a restless curiosity about the life around her in all its explosive variety. By turns compassionate, angry, satiric, and psychologically penetrating, Gwendolyn Brooks's poetry retains its power to move and surprise.

About the American Poets Project
Elegantly designed in compact editions, printed on acid-free paper, and textually authoritative, the American Poets Project makes available the full range of the American poetic accomplishment, selected and introduced by today's most discerning poets and critics.

FEUDING FAN DANCERS: FAITH BAC

Feuding Fan Dancers

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"Detailed, deeply researched, and compelling." --Chicago Tribune

Historian Leslie Zemeckis reveals the lost stories of Sally Rand and Faith Bacon--icons who each claimed to be the inventor of the notorious fan dance. Nearly one hundred years later, both women come alive again.

Forgotten Chicago

Forgotten Chicago

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Chicago has long been regarded as home to some of the world's most impressive architecture.


Responding to the Great Fire of 1871, Chicagoans rebuilt the city, creating a radically new architectural style. Chicago continued to grow and

FROM BUGHOUSE SQUARE TO THE BE

From Bughouse Square to the Beat Generation

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Cultural Writing. In 1960, Dorothy Kilgallen wrote, If you wish to see the so-called `beat generation' in action, drop in at the College of Complexes. A unique combination of tavern, university, and non-stop party, the College was for many years Chicago's premier outsider outpost. The writings collected here by the College's Founder and Janitor, Slim Brundage (1903-1990), chronicle the colorful history of what may well be the oldest continuous dissident workingclass intellectual community in the U.S. Hobo, Wobbly, Soapboxer, housepainter, humorist, and chief architect of the scandalous Beatnik Party during the 1960 elections, Brundage was very much a maker of the history he writes about. Slim ran a lively place-livelier than most. He's an ingenious sort of guy... good at talking and getting people to talk-Jack Conroy. Franklin Rosemont's introduction discusses the college's roots and outlines the Janitor's radical (and Dadaist) critique of traditional education.

GHOSTS IN THE SCHOOLYARD: RACI

GHOSTS IN THE SCHOOLYARD: RACI

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"Failing schools. Underprivileged schools. Just plain bad schools."

That's how Eve L. Ewing opens Ghosts in the Schoolyard: describing Chicago Public Schools from the outside. The way politicians and pundits and parents of kids who attend other schools talk about them, with a mix of pity and contempt.

But Ewing knows Chicago Public Schools from the inside: as a student, then a teacher, and now a scholar who studies them. And that perspective has shown her that public schools are not buildings full of failures--they're an integral part of their neighborhoods, at the heart of their communities, storehouses of history and memory that bring people together.

Never was that role more apparent than in 2013 when Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced an unprecedented wave of school closings. Pitched simultaneously as a solution to a budget problem, a response to declining enrollments, and a chance to purge bad schools that were dragging down the whole system, the plan was met with a roar of protest from parents, students, and teachers. But if these schools were so bad, why did people care so much about keeping them open, to the point that some would even go on a hunger strike?

Ewing's answer begins with a story of systemic racism, inequality, bad faith, and distrust that stretches deep into Chicago history. Rooting her exploration in the historic African American neighborhood of Bronzeville, Ewing reveals that this issue is about much more than just schools. Black communities see the closing of their schools--schools that are certainly less than perfect but that are theirs--as one more in a long line of racist policies. The fight to keep them open is yet another front in the ongoing struggle of black people in America to build successful lives and achieve true self-determination.

High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing

High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing

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Joining the ranks of Evicted, The Warmth of Other Suns, and classic works of literary non-fiction by Alex Kotlowitz and J. Anthony Lukas, High-Risers braids personal narratives, city politics, and national history to tell the timely and epic story of Chicago's Cabrini-Green, America's most iconic public housing project.

Built in the 1940s atop an infamous Italian slum, Cabrini-Green grew to twenty-three towers and a population of 20,000--all of it packed onto just seventy acres a few blocks from Chicago's ritzy Gold Coast. Cabrini-Green became synonymous with crime, squalor, and the failure of government. For the many who lived there, it was also a much-needed resource--it was home. By 2011, every high-rise had been razed, the island of black poverty engulfed by the white affluence around it, the families dispersed.

In this novelistic and eye-opening narrative, Ben Austen tells the story of America's public housing experiment and the changing fortunes of American cities. It is an account told movingly through the lives of residents who struggled to make a home for their families as powerful forces converged to accelerate the housing complex's demise. Beautifully written, rich in detail, and full of moving portraits, High-Risers is a sweeping exploration of race, class, popular culture, and politics in modern America that brilliantly considers what went wrong in our nation's effort to provide affordable housing to the poor--and what we can learn from those mistakes.

HIPPEST TRIP IN AMERICA: SOUL

HIPPEST TRIP IN AMERICA: SOUL

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An authoritative history of the groundbreaking syndicated television show that has become an icon of American pop culture, from acclaimed author and filmmaker Nelson George, "the most accomplished black music critic of his generation" (Washington Post Book World).

When it debuted in October 1971, seven years after the Civil Rights Act, Soul Train boldly went where no variety show had gone before, showcasing the cultural preferences of young African-Americans and the sounds that defined their lives: R&B, funk, jazz, disco, and gospel music. The brainchild of radio announcer Don Cornelius, the show's producer and host, Soul Train featured a diverse range of stars, from James Brown and David Bowie to Christine Aguilera and R. Kelly; Marvin Gaye and Elton John to the New Kids on the Block and Stevie Wonder.

The Hippest Trip in America tells the full story of this pop culture phenomenon that appealed not only to blacks, but to a wide crossover audience as well. Famous dancers like Rosie Perez and Jody Watley, performers such as Aretha Franklin, Al Green, and Barry White, and Cornelius himself share their memories, offering insights into the show and its time--a period of extraordinary social and political change. Colorful and pulsating, The Hippest Trip In America is a fascinating portrait of a revered cultural institution that has left an indelible mark on our national consciousness.

Hobohemia

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Iconic Chicago, Dishes, Drinks and Desserts

Iconic Chicago, Dishes, Drinks and Desserts

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The food that fuels hardworking Chicagoans needs to be hearty, portable and inexpensive. Featuring select stories and recipes, author Amy Bizzarri surveys the delectable landscape of Chicago's homegrown culinary hits.


Enterprising loca

Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till

Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till

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The world knows the story of young Emmett Till. In August 1955, the fourteen-year-old Chicago boy supposedly flirted with a white woman named Carolyn Bryant, who worked behind the counter of a country store, while visiting family in Mississippi. Three days later, his mangled body was recovered in the Tallahatchie River, weighed down by a cotton-gin fan. Till's killers, Bryant's husband and his half-brother, were eventually acquitted on technicalities by an all-white jury despite overwhelming evidence. It seemed another case of Southern justice.

Then details of what had happened to Till became public, which they did in part because Emmett's mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, insisted that his casket remain open during his funeral. The world saw the horror, and Till's story gripped the country and sparked outrage. Black journalists drove down to Mississippi and risked their lives interviewing townsfolk, encouraging witnesses, spiriting those in danger out of the region, and above all keeping the news cycle turning. It continues to turn. In 2005, fifty years after the murder, the FBI reopened the case. New papers and testimony have come to light, and several participants, including Till's mother, have published autobiographies. Using this new evidence and a broadened historical context, Elliott J. Gorn delves more fully than anyone has into how and why the story of Emmett Till still resonates, and always will. Till's murder marked a turning point, Gorn shows, and yet also reveals how old patterns of thought and behavior endure, and why we must look hard at them.

LOST REGION: TOWARD A REVIVAL

LOST REGION: TOWARD A REVIVAL

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LOST RESTAURANTS OF CHICAGO

LOST RESTAURANTS OF CHICAGO

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Chicago author, Greg Borzo, recalls the city's celebrated lost restaurants.


Many of Chicago's greatest or most unusual restaurants are "no longer taking reservations," but they're definitely not forgotten. From steakhouses to delis, th

Lucy Parsons: Freedom, Equality & Solidarity

Lucy Parsons: Freedom, Equality & Solidarity

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Cultural Writing. "More dangerous than a thousand rioters!" That's what the Chicago police called Lucy Parsons--America's most defiant and persistent anarchist agitator, whose cross-country speaking tours inspired hundreds of thousands of working people. Her friends and admirers included William Morris, Peter Kropotkin, "Big Bill" Haywood, Ben Reitman, and Sam Dolgoff. And the groups in which she was active were just as varied: the Knights of Labor, IWW, Dil Pickle Club, International Labor Defense, and others. Here for the first time is a hefty selection of her powerful writings and speeches: on anarchism, women, race matters, class war, the IWW, and the U.S. injustice system. "Lucy Parsons's writings are among the best and strongest in the history of U.S. anarchism"--Gale Ahrens.
Message to Our Folks The Art Ensemble of Chicago

Message to Our Folks The Art Ensemble of Chicago

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This year marks the golden anniversary of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, the flagship band of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Formed in 1966 and flourishing until 2010, the Art Ensemble distinguished itself by its unique performance practices--members played hundreds of instruments on stage, recited poetry, performed theatrical sketches, and wore face paint, masks, lab coats, and traditional African and Asian dress. The group, which built a global audience and toured across six continents, presented their work as experimental performance art, in opposition to the jazz industry's traditionalist aesthetics.

In Message to Our Folks, Paul Steinbeck combines musical analysis and historical inquiry to give us the definitive study of the Art Ensemble. In the book, he proposes a new theory of group improvisation that explains how the band members were able to improvise together in so many different styles while also drawing on an extensive repertoire of notated compositions. Steinbeck examines the multimedia dimensions of the Art Ensemble's performances and the ways in which their distinctive model of social relations kept the group performing together for four decades. Message to Our Folks is a striking and valuable contribution to our understanding of one of the world's premier musical groups.

OPERATION BREADBASKET: AN UNTO

OPERATION BREADBASKET: AN UNTO

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This is the first full history of Operation Breadbasket, the interfaith economic justice program that transformed into Jesse Jackson's Operation PUSH (now the Rainbow PUSH Coalition). Begun by Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1966 Chicago Freedom Movement, Breadbasket was directed by Jackson. Author Martin L. Deppe was one of Breadbasket's founding pastors. He digs deeply into the program's past to update the meager narrative about Breadbasket, add details to King's and Jackson's roles, and tell Breadbasket's little-known story.

Under the motto "Your Ministers Fight for Jobs and Rights," the program put bread on the tables of the city's African American families in the form of steady jobs. Deppe details how Breadbasket used the power of the pulpit to persuade businesses that sought black dollars to also employ a fair share of blacks. Though they favored negotiations, Breadbasket pastors also organized effective boycotts, as they did after one manager declared that he was "not about to let Negro preachers tell him what to do." Over six years, Breadbasket's efforts netted forty-five hundred jobs and sharply increased commerce involving black-owned businesses. Economic gains on Chicago's South Side amounted to $57.5 million annually by 1971.

Deppe traces Breadbasket's history from its early "Don't Buy" campaigns through a string of achievements related to black employment and black-owned products, services, and businesses. To the emerging call for black power, Bread-basket offered a program that actually empowered the black community, helping it engage the mainstream economic powers on an equal footing. Deppe recounts plans for Breadbasket's national expansion; its sponsored business expos; and the Saturday Breadbasket gatherings, a hugely popular black-pride forum. Deppe shows how the program evolved in response to growing pains, changing alliances, and the King assassination. Breadbasket's rich history, as told here, offers a still-viable model for attaining economic justice today.

PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF CHICAGO

PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF CHICAGO

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Known variously as "'the Windy City,"' "'the City of Big Shoulders,"' or "'Chi-Raq,"' Chicago is one of the most widely celebrated, routinely demonized, and thoroughly contested cities in the world.

Chicago is the city of Gwendolyn Brooks and Chief Keef, Al Capone and Richard Wright, Lucy Parsons and Nelson Algren, Harold Washington and Studs Terkel. It is the city of Fred Hampton, House Music, and the Haymarket Martyrs. Writing in the tradition of Howard Zinn, Kevin Coval's A People's History of Chicago celebrates the history of this great American city from the perspective of those on the margins, whose stories often go untold. These seventy-seven poems (for the city's seventy-seven neighborhoods) honor the everyday lives and enduring resistance of the city's workers, poor people, and people of color, whose cultural and political revolutions continue to shape the social landscape.

Kevin Coval is the poet/author/editor of seven books including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and the play, This Iis Modern Art, co-written with Idris Goodwin. Founder of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival and the Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors, Coval teaches hip-hop aesthetics at the University of Illinois--Chicago. The Chicago Tribune has named him "the voice of the new Chicago" and the Boston Globe calls him "the city's unofficial poet laureate."

Renegade Dreams

Renegade Dreams

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Every morning Chicagoans wake up to the same stark headlines that read like some macabre score: "13 shot, 4 dead overnight across the city," and nearly every morning the same elision occurs: what of the nine other victims? As with war, much of our focus on inner-city violence is on the death toll, but the reality is that far more victims live to see another day and must cope with their injuries--both physical and psychological--for the rest of their lives. Renegade Dreams is their story. Walking the streets of one of Chicago's most violent neighborhoods--where the local gang has been active for more than fifty years--Laurence Ralph talks with people whose lives are irrecoverably damaged, seeking to understand how they cope and how they can be better helped.

Going deep into a West Side neighborhood most Chicagoans only know from news reports--a place where children have been shot just for crossing the wrong street--Ralph unearths the fragile humanity that fights to stay alive there, to thrive, against all odds. He talks to mothers, grandmothers, and pastors, to activists and gang leaders, to the maimed and the hopeful, to aspiring rappers, athletes, or those who simply want safe passage to school or a steady job. Gangland Chicago, he shows, is as complicated as ever. It's not just a warzone but a community, a place where people's dreams are projected against the backdrop of unemployment, dilapidated housing, incarceration, addiction, and disease, the many hallmarks of urban poverty that harden like so many scars in their lives. Recounting their stories, he wrestles with what it means to be an outsider in a place like this, whether or not his attempt to understand, to help, might not in fact inflict its own damage. Ultimately he shows that the many injuries these people carry--like dreams--are a crucial form of resilience, and that we should all think about the ghetto differently, not as an abandoned island of unmitigated violence and its helpless victims but as a neighborhood, full of homes, as a part of the larger society in which we all live, together, among one another.

Rootabaga Stories: For People From 5 to 105

Rootabaga Stories: For People From 5 to 105

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Originally published in 1922, Rootabaga Stories was written by one of America's most beloved folk chroniclers. He wrote these stories for "people from 5 to 105." This reproduction of the first edition includes the illustrations of Maud and Miska Petersham.
Selected Poems

Selected Poems

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Selected Poems is the classic volume by the distinguished and celebrated poet Gwendolyn Brooks, winner of the 1950 Pulitzer Prize, and recipient of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. This compelling collection showcases Brooks's technical mastery, her warm humanity, and her compassionate and illuminating response to a complex world. This edition also includes a special PS section with insights, interviews, and more--including a short piece by Nikki Giovanni entitled Remembering Gwen.

By 1963 the civil rights movement was in full swing across the United States, and more and more African American writers were increasingly outspoken in attacking American racism and insisting on full political, economic, and social equality for all. In that memorable year of the March on Washington, Harper & Row released Brooks's Selected Poems, which incorporated poems from her first three collections, as well as a selection of new poems.

This edition of Selected Poems includes A Street in Bronzeville, Brooks's first published volume of poetry for which she became nationally known and which led to successive Guggenheim fellowships; Annie Allen, published one year before she became the first African American author to win the Pulitzer Prize in any category; and The Bean Eaters, her fifth publication which expanded her focus from studies of the lives of mainly poor urban black Americans to the heroism of early civil rights workers and events of particular outrage--including the 1955 Emmett Till lynching and the 1957 school desegregation crisis in Little Rock, Arkansas. --Washington Post
SENSING CHICAGO: NOISEMAKERS,

SENSING CHICAGO: NOISEMAKERS,

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A hundred years and more ago, a walk down a Chicago street invited an assault on the senses. Untiring hawkers shouted from every corner. The manure from thousands of horses lay on streets pooled with molasses and puddled with kitchen grease. Odors from a river gelatinous and lumpy with all manner of foulness mingled with the all-pervading stench of the stockyard slaughterhouses.

In Sensing Chicago, Adam Mack lets fresh air into the sensory history of Chicago in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by examining five events: the Chicago River, the Great Fire, the 1894 Pullman Strike, the publication of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, and the rise and fall of the White City amusement park. His vivid recounting of the smells, sounds, and tactile miseries of city life reveals how input from the five human senses influenced the history of class, race, and ethnicity in the city. At the same time, he transports readers to an era before modern refrigeration and sanitation, when to step outside was to be overwhelmed by the odor and roar of a great city in progress.

Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago's South Side (Second to None: Chicago Stories)

Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago's South Side (Second to None: Chicago Stories)

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Southern Exposure: The Overlooked Architecture of Chicago's South Side is the first book devoted to the South Side's rich and unfairly ignored architectural heritage. With lively, insightful text and gallery-quality color photographs
by noted Chicago architecture expert Lee Bey, Southern Exposure documents the remarkable and largely unsung architecture of the South Side. The book features an array of landmarks--from a Space Age dry cleaner to a nineteenth-century lagoon that meanders down the middle of a working-class neighborhood street--that are largely absent from arts discourse, in no small part because they sit in a predominantly African American and Latino
section of town better known as a place of disinvestment, abandonment, and violence.

Inspired by Bey's 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial exhibition, Southern Exposure visits sixty sites, including lesser-known but important work by luminaries such as Jeanne Gang, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Eero Saarinen, as well as buildings by pioneering black architects such as Walter T. Bailey, John Moutoussamy, and Roger Margerum.

Pushing against the popular narrative that depicts Chicago's South Side as an architectural wasteland, Bey shows beautiful and intact buildings and neighborhoods that reflect the value--and potential--of the area. Southern Exposure offers much to delight architecture aficionados and writers, native Chicagoans and guests to the city alike.

The Great Chicago Beer Riot

The Great Chicago Beer Riot

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In 1855, when Chicago's recently elected mayor Levi Boone pushed through a law forbidding the sale of alcohol on Sunday, the city pushed back. To the German community, the move seemed a deliberate provocation from Boone's stridently anti-immigrant Know-No
The Rise and Fall of the Dil Pickle Club

The Rise and Fall of the Dil Pickle Club

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THIRD COAST: WHEN CHICAGO BUIL

THIRD COAST: WHEN CHICAGO BUIL

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Winner of the Chicago Tribune's 2013 Heartland Prize

A critically acclaimed history of Chicago at mid-century, featuring many of the incredible personalities that shaped American culture

Before air travel overtook trains, nearly every coast-to-coast journey included a stop in Chicago, and this flow of people and commodities made it the crucible for American culture and innovation. In luminous prose, Chicago native Thomas Dyja re-creates the story of the city in its postwar prime and explains its profound impact on modern America--from Chess Records to Playboy, McDonald's to the University of Chicago. Populated with an incredible cast of characters, including Mahalia Jackson, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry, Sun Ra, Simone de Beauvoir, Nelson Algren, Gwendolyn Brooks, Studs Turkel, and Mayor Richard J. Daley, The Third Coast recalls the prominence of the Windy City in all its grandeur.

Wicked, Immoral, Utterly Bad!

Wicked, Immoral, Utterly Bad!

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Wicked, Immoral, Utterly Bad! An Illustrated History of Chicago Theatre is:

A graphic, illustrated coffee table book chronicling the urban history of local dramatic theater in Chicago. Readers discover Joseph Jefferson, the namesake of the Chicago Jeff Awards and the Jeff Recommended plays in Chicago, James McVicker and the founders of early theater in Chicago, architecture and the effects of the Great Chicago Fire, The Iroquois Theatre Fire, the social outreach and theater of Hull House led by Jane Addams and later Robert Sickinger and Paul Jans, the experiment of Maurice Browne and the Little Theatre movement with Ellen Van Volkenburg, off-Loop theater and its inspiration to create countless Chicago theatre companies, Charlotte Chorpenning, Winifred Ward, Alice Gerstenberg and the growth of children's theater, the Federal Theatre Project in Chicago with Harry Minturn and Shirley Graham, experimental theater, the history of Chicago style improvisation with influence from Neva Boyd, Viola Spolin, David Shepherd and The Compass Players, Paul Sills, Bernie Sahlins and the famous risk-taking improv comedy of The Second City along with its contributions to Saturday Night Live. Discover The Body Politic Theatre of the Reverend Jim Shiflett, The Organic Theatre with Stuart Gordon, The St. Nicholas Theatre with David Mamet, and the history of long standing performance spaces like the Goodman Theatre and original venues like Bill Pullinsi's Candlelight Playhouse, the first dinner theater in America. Replete with a unique collection of photography, graphics, playbills and memorabilia from Chicago's famous theater scene. Enjoy!
Pete Blatchford's Wicked, Immoral, Utterly Bad! is Affectionate, Uplifting, Utterly Good! In an age and of a subject often bathed in too many words, this delightful coffee table book combines a rich and broad array of pictures, photos, placards and posters laid out with the dynamic of a good graphic novel, about the history I was so lucky to stumble upon as a novice theatre enthusiast when I arrived here in the 1970s. More than a well-researched reference, more than an album of valuable images, this book celebrates the feel of distinctly Chicago Theatre. Thanks Pete Blatchford! Stefan Brün, Artistic Director, Prop Thtr
Wicked, Immoral, Utterly Bad! is an exciting journey through the theatrical history of Chicago, focusing on what got us to the storefront movement of the 60s and 70s, then what followed. The photos collected are a treasure trove, from Joseph Jefferson on down. It's a delight for anyone who loves Chicago theatre and Chicago history. Jason Epperson, PerformInk
Author Blatchford's decades-long opus is as much a labor of love as it is a meticulously researched reference guide which doubles as a coffee table book that is impossible not to love. Lavish with images, photos and memorabilia, WICKED is simply the most inclusive volume on Chicago's creative scene to see print. The world looks to Chicago as the hub for small stage brilliance and innovation; here's the best guide to why. Chicago historians and theatre fans, rejoice! Mark Braun, Food Industry News
Received this lovely gift in the mail today. "Wicked, Immoral, Utterly Bad!" an illustrated history of Chicago theatre that I contributed pictures to from David Shepherd's collection. Written by Pete Blatchford with design and layout by Jennifer Sowinski, David is featured in the chapter "Shepherd's Flock." His collection has been quite prolific over the past year; popping up in two TV documentaries on Mike Nichols (PBS and HBO) and Mike Birbiglia's film "Don't Think Twice." It does my heart good. Michael Golding