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 it

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

AL CAPONE'S BEER WARS: A COMPL

AL CAPONE'S BEER WARS: A COMPL

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Although much has been written about Al Capone, there has not been--until now--a complete history of organized crime in Chicago during Prohibition. This exhaustively researched book covers the entire period from 1920 to 1933. Author John J. Binder, a recognized authority on the history of organized crime in Chicago, discusses all the important bootlegging gangs in the city and the suburbs and also examines the other major rackets, such as prostitution, gambling, labor and business racketeering, and narcotics.

A major focus is how the Capone gang -- one of twelve major bootlegging mobs in Chicago at the start of Prohibition--gained a virtual monopoly over organized crime in northern Illinois and beyond. Binder also describes the fight by federal and local authorities, as well as citizens' groups, against organized crime. In the process, he refutes numerous myths and misconceptions related to the Capone gang, other criminal groups, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and gangland killings.

What emerges is a big picture of how Chicago's underworld evolved during this period. This broad perspective goes well beyond Capone and specific acts of violence and brings to light what was happening elsewhere in Chicagoland and after Capone went to jail.

Based on 25 years of research and using many previously unexplored sources, this fascinating account of a bloody and colorful era in Chicago history will become the definitive work on the subject.

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.

All the World Is Here!:The Black Presence at White City

All the World Is Here!:The Black Presence at White City

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This entrancing book looks at [the clash of class and caste within the black community] . . . . An important reexamination of African American history.
--Choice

The 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago showed the world that America had come of age. Dreaming that they could participate fully as citizens, African Americans flocked to the fair by the thousands. All the World Is Here! examines why they came and the ways in which they took part in the Exposition. Their expectations varied. Well-educated, highly assimilated African Americans sought not just representation but also membership at the highest level of decision making and planning. They wanted to participate fully in all intellectual and cultural events. Instead, they were given only token roles and used as window dressing. Their stories of pathos and joy, disappointment and hope, are part of the lost history of White City. Frederick Douglass, who embodied the dream that inclusion within the American mainstream was possible, would never forget America's World's Fair snub.

Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther (Revised)

Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther (Revised)

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On December 4, 1969, attorney Jeff Haas was in a police lockup in Chicago, interviewing Fred Hampton's fiancée. She described how the police pulled her from the room as Fred lay unconscious on their bed. She heard one officer say, "He's still alive." She then heard two shots. A second officer said, "He's good and dead now." She looked at Jeff and asked, "What can you do?"
Fifty years later, Haas finds that there is still an urgent need for the revolutionary systemic changes Hampton was organizing to accomplish. With a new prologue discussing what has changed--and what has not--The Assassination of Fred Hampton remains Haas's personal account of how he and People's Law Office partner Flint Taylor pursued Hampton's assassins, ultimately prevailing over unlimited government resources and FBI conspiracy. Not only a story of justice delivered, the book puts Hampton in the spotlight as a dynamic community leader and an inspiration for those in the ongoing fight against injustice and police brutality.
Best of Royko: The Tribune Years

Best of Royko: The Tribune Years

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For more than 30 years, Mike Royko was a part of the daily fabric of Chicagoans' lives, penning often humorous and always honest columns first for the Chicago Daily News, then the Sun-Times, and finally the Tribune. Culled from thousands of his Tribune columns and edited by his son David Royko, this collection offers up his best material from the last stage in his career, which was cut short by his premature death in 1997.
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.

Signed copy of Chicago Apartments

Chicago Apartments (signed copy)

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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.

Signed by authors Teri Edelstein and Neil Harris. Limited quantity available!

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: The Pleasure Seeker's Guide to the Paris of America

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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 MAGIC: A HISTORY OF ST

CHICAGO MAGIC: A HISTORY OF ST

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By the end of America's Golden Age of Magic," Chicago had taken center stage in front of an American audience drawn to the craft by the likes of Harry Houdini and Howard Thurston. Cashing in on a craze that rivaled big-band mania, magic shops and clubs sp
Chicago Poems

Chicago Poems

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Chicago Poems (1916) was Carl Sandburg's first-published book of verse. Written in the poet's unique, personal idiom, these poems embody a soulfulness, lyric grace, and a love of and compassion for the common man that earned Sandburg a reputation as a poet of the people.
Among the dozens of poems in this collection are such well-known verses as Chicago, Fog, To a Contemporary Bunkshooter, Who Am I? and Under the Harvest Moon, as well as numerous others on themes of war, immigrant life, death, love, loneliness, and the beauty of nature. These early poems reveal the simplicity of style, honesty, and vision that characterized all of Sandburg's work and earned him enormous popularity in the 1920s and '30s and a Pulitzer prize in poetry in 1951.

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.

Chicago:City on the Make

Chicago: City on the Make

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"Once you've become a part of this particular patch, you'll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real."

Ernest Hemingway once said of Nelson Algren's writing that "you should not read it if you cannot take a punch." The prose poem, Chicago: City on the Make, filled with language that swings and jabs and stuns, lives up to those words. In this sixtieth anniversary edition, Algren presents 120 years of Chicago history through the lens of its "nobodies nobody knows" the tramps, hustlers, aging bar fighters, freed death-row inmates, and anonymous working stiffs who prowl its streets.

Upon its original publication in 1951, Algren's Chicago: City on the Make was scorned by the Chicago Chamber of Commerce and local journalists for its gritty portrayal of the city and its people, one that boldly defied City Hall's business and tourism initiatives. Yet the book captures the essential dilemma of Chicago: the dynamic tension between the city's breathtaking beauty and its utter brutality, its boundless human energy and its stifling greed and violence.

The sixtieth anniversary edition features historic Chicago photos and annotations on everything from defunct slang to Chicagoans, famous and obscure, to what the Black Sox scandal was and why it mattered. More accessible than ever, this is, as Studs Terkel says, "the best book about Chicago."

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

Clark Street

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"Chicago seemed like an ideal mix of old and new, though it was mostly the old that interested me...Places that had a past and a story to tell." These are words spoken by Tom Palazzolo in his 2000 movie Down Clark Street. In it, Tom revisits the area where he lived throughout the '60s to show us how things had changed--from "then" to "now." It was Tom's photographs of "then" in the movie that inspired this book. Along with some of his own words, they are presented here, not as an illustrated history, but as a personal collection of street photography.

Conspiracy Trial of the Chicago Seven (Revised)

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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.
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.

EVERYTHING MUST GO

Everything Must Go

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Everything Must Go is an illustrated collection of poems in the spirit of a graphic novel, a collaboration between poet Kevin Coval and illustrator Langston Allston.

The book celebrates Chicago's Wicker Park in the late 1990's, Coval's home as a young artist, the ancestral neighborhood of his forebears, and a vibrant enclave populated by colorful characters. Allston's illustrations honor the neighborhood as it once was, before gentrification remade it.

The book excavates and mourns that which has been lost in transition and serves as a template for understanding the process of displacement and reinvention currently reshaping American cities.

FLICKERING EMPIRE: HOW CHICAGO

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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

GANGSTERS & GRIFTERS: CLASSIC

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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.

GOOD WAR (REVISED)

GOOD WAR (REVISED)

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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize: "The richest and most powerful single document of the American experience in World War II" (The Boston Globe).

"The Good War" is a testament not only to the experience of war but to the extraordinary skill of Studs Terkel as an interviewer and oral historian. From a pipe fitter's apprentice at Pearl Harbor to a crew member of the flight that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, his subjects are open and unrelenting in their analyses of themselves and their experiences, producing what People magazine has called "a splendid epic history" of WWII. With this volume Terkel expanded his scope to the global and the historical, and the result is a masterpiece of oral history.

"Tremendously compelling, somehow dramatic and intimate at the same time, as if one has stumbled on private accounts in letters locked in attic trunks . . . In terms of plain human interest, Mr. Terkel may well have put together the most vivid collection of World War II sketches ever gathered between covers." --The New York Times Book Review

"I promise you will remember your war years, if you were alive then, with extraordinary vividness as you go through Studs Terkel's book. Or, if you are too young to remember, this is the best place to get a sense of what people were feeling." --Chicago Tribune

"A powerful book, repeatedly moving and profoundly disturbing." --People

The Good Waris a testament not only to the experience of war but to the extraordinary skill of Studs Terkel as an interviewer and oral historian. From a pipe fitter’s apprentice at Pearl Harbor to a crew member of the flight that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, his subjects are open and unrelenting in their analyses of themselves and their experiences, producing what People magazine has called “a splendid epic history” of WWII. With this volume Terkel expanded his scope to the global and the historical, and the result is a masterpiece of oral history.

Hard Times:An Oral History of the Great Depression in America

Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression in America

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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Good War: A masterpiece of modern journalism and "a huge anthem in praise of the American spirit" (Saturday Review).

In this "invaluable record" of one of the most dramatic periods in modern American history, Studs Terkel recaptures the Great Depression of the 1930s in all its complexity. Featuring a mosaic of memories from politicians, businessmen, artists, striking workers, and Okies, from those who were just kids to those who remember losing a fortune, Hard Times is not only a gold mine of information but a fascinating interplay of memory and fact, revealing how the 1929 stock market crash and its repercussions radically changed the lives of a generation. The voices that speak from the pages of this unique book are as timeless as the lessons they impart (The New York Times).

"Hard Times doesn't 'render' the time of the depression--it is that time, its lingo, mood, its tragic and hilarious stories." --Arthur Miller

"Wonderful! The American memory, the American way, the American voice. It will resurrect your faith in all of us to read this book." --Newsweek

"Open Studs Terkel's book to almost any page and rich memories spill out . . . Read a page, any page. Then try to stop." --The National Observer

High Risers

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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

Hobohemia

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From the 1910s through the Depression 30s, when Chicago was the undisputed hobo capital of the United States, a small north side neighborhood known as Towertown was the vital center of an extraordinary cultural/political ferment. It was home to Bughouse Square (the nation's most renowned outdoor free-speech center), Ben Reitman's Hobo College, and the fabulous Dill Pickle club, a highly unorthodox institution of higher learning that doubled as the craziest nightclub in the world. It was something like New York's Greenwich Village, but—thanks to the prominence of the Chicago-based IWW—much more working class, and more openly revolutionary. Frank O. Beck's Hobohemia contains a long time Towertowner's vivid reminiscences of this colorful, dynamic, creative, and radical community that flourished for a generation despite constant onslaughts from the Red Squad, the Vice Squad, bourgeois journalists, and fundamentalist bigots. Originally published in 1956, this handsome new edition contains a superb introduction from Franklin Rosemont, providing a historical overview of Chicago's working class counter-culture, and a biographical sketch of Beck. It also relates the book to earlier and later literature on the subject and fills in some gaps in the narrative.

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

MEXICAN HOMETOWN ASSOCIATIONS

MEXICAN HOMETOWN ASSOCIATIONS

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Chicago is home to the second-largest Mexican immigrant population in the United States, yet the activities of this community have gone relatively unexamined by both the media and academia. In this groundbreaking new book, Xóchitl Bada takes us inside one of the most vital parts of Chicago's Mexican immigrant community--its many hometown associations.

Hometown associations (HTAs) consist of immigrants from the same town in Mexico and often begin quite informally, as soccer clubs or prayer groups. As Bada's work shows, however, HTAs have become a powerful force for change, advocating for Mexican immigrants in the United States while also working to improve living conditions in their communities of origin. Focusing on a group of HTAs founded by immigrants from the state of Michoacán, the book shows how their activism has bridged public and private spheres, mobilizing social reforms in both inner-city Chicago and rural Mexico.

Bringing together ethnography, political theory, and archival research, Bada excavates the surprisingly long history of Chicago's HTAs, dating back to the 1920s, then traces the emergence of new models of community activism in the twenty-first century. Filled with vivid observations and original interviews, Mexican Hometown Associations in Chicagoacán gives voice to an underrepresented community and sheds light on an underexplored form of global activism.

Nature's Metropolis:Chicago and the Great West

Nature's Metropolis:Chicago and the Great West

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In this groundbreaking work, William Cronon gives us an environmental perspective on the history of nineteenth-century America. By exploring the ecological and economic changes that made Chicago America's most dynamic city and the Great West its hinterland, Mr. Cronon opens a new window onto our national past. This is the story of city and country becoming ever more tightly bound in a system so powerful that it reshaped the American landscape and transformed American culture. The world that emerged is our own.

Winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize

Oldest Chicago

Oldest Chicago

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"Within the pages of Oldest Chicago, get to know the history of the Windy City's most iconic buildings and the stories that bring their walls to life... Local historian David Anthony Witter brings his love of the city to this handy guidebook of the city's buildings, neighborhoods, restaurants, businesses, and bars."--Page 4 of cover.
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."

Postwar: Waging Peace in Chicago

Postwar: Waging Peace in Chicago

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When World War II ended, Americans celebrated a military victory abroad, but the meaning of peace at home was yet to be defined. From roughly 1943 onward, building a postwar society became the new national project, and every interest group involved in the war effort--from business leaders to working-class renters--held different visions for the war's aftermath. In Postwar, Laura McEnaney plumbs the depths of this period to explore exactly what peace meant to a broad swath of civilians, including apartment dwellers, single women and housewives, newly freed Japanese American internees, African American migrants, and returning veterans. In her fine-grained social history of postwar Chicago, McEnaney puts ordinary working-class people at the center of her investigation.

What she finds is a working-class war liberalism--a conviction that the wartime state had taken things from people, and that the postwar era was about reclaiming those things with the state's help. McEnaney examines vernacular understandings of the state, exploring how people perceived and experienced government in their lives. For Chicago's working-class residents, the state was not clearly delineated. The local offices of federal agencies, along with organizations such as the Travelers Aid Society and other neighborhood welfare groups, all became what she calls the state in the neighborhood, an extension of government to serve an urban working class recovering from war. Just as they had made war, the urban working class had to make peace, and their requests for help, large and small, constituted early dialogues about the role of the state during peacetime.

Postwar examines peace as its own complex historical process, a passage from conflict to postconflict that contained human struggles and policy dilemmas that would shape later decades as fatefully as had the war.

Queer Legacies: Stories from Chicago's LGBTQ Archives

Queer Legacies: Stories from Chicago's LGBTQ Archives

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The variety of LGBTQ life in Chicago is too abundant and too diverse to be contained in a single place. But since 1981, the Gerber/Hart Library and Archives has striven to do just that, amassing a wealth of records related to the city's gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified people and organizations. In Queer Legacies, John D'Emilio--a pioneering scholar in the field--digs deep into Gerber/Hart's collection to unearth a kaleidoscopic look at the communities built by generations of LGBTQ people. Excavated from one of the country's most important, yet overlooked, LGBTQ archives, D'Emilio's entertaining and enthusiastic essays range in focus from politics and culture to social life, academia, and religion. He gives readers an inclusive and personal look at fifty years of a national fight for visibility, recognition, and equality led by LGBTQ Americans who, quite literally, made history. In these troubled times, it will surely inspire a new generation of scholars and activists.
Redlined: A Memoir of Race, Change, and Fractured Community in 1960s Chicago

Redlined: A Memoir of Race, Change, and Fractured Community in 1960s Chicago

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Set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement, Redlined exposes the racist lending rules that refuse mortgages to anyone in areas with even one black resident. As blacks move deeper into Chicago's West Side during the 1960s, whites flee by the thousands. But Linda Gartz's parents, Fred and Lil choose to stay in their integrating neighborhood, overcoming previous prejudices as they meet and form friendships with their African American neighbors. The community sinks into increasing poverty and crime after two race riots destroy its once vibrant business district, but Fred and Lil continue to nurture their three apartment buildings and tenants for the next twenty years in a devastated landscape--even as their own relationship cracks and withers.
After her parents' deaths, Gartz discovers long-hidden letters, diaries, documents, and photos stashed in the attic of her former home. Determined to learn what forces shattered her parents' marriage and undermined her community, she searches through the family archives and immerses herself in books on racial change in American neighborhoods. Told through the lens of Gartz's discoveries of the personal and political, Redlined delivers a riveting story of a community fractured by racial turmoil, an unraveling and conflicted marriage, a daughter's fight for sexual independence, and an up-close, intimate view of the racial and social upheavals of the 1960s.
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.
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.

Sun Ra's Chicago: Afrofuturism and the City

Sun Ra's Chicago: Afrofuturism and the City

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Sun Ra (1914-93) was one of the most wildly prolific and unfailingly eccentric figures in the history of music. Renowned for extravagant performances in which his Arkestra appeared in neo-Egyptian garb, the keyboardist and bandleader also espoused an interstellar cosmology that claimed the planet Saturn as his true home. In Sun Ra's Chicago, William Sites brings this visionary musician back to earth--specifically to the city's South Side, where from 1946 to 1961 he lived and relaunched his career. The postwar South Side was a hotbed of unorthodox religious and cultural activism: Afrocentric philosophies flourished, storefront prophets sold "dream-book bibles," and Elijah Muhammad was building the Nation of Islam. It was also an unruly musical crossroads where the man then known as Sonny Blount drew from an array of intellectual and musical sources--from radical nationalism, revisionist Christianity, and science fiction to jazz, blues, Latin dance music, and pop exotica--to construct a philosophy and performance style that imagined a new identity and future for African Americans. Sun Ra's Chicago shows that late twentieth-century Afrofuturism emerged from a deep, utopian engagement with the city--and that by excavating the postwar black experience of Sun Ra's South Side milieu, we can come to see the possibilities of urban life in new ways.
The Almighty Black P Stone Nation: The Rise, Fall, and Resurgence of an American Gang

The Almighty Black P Stone Nation: The Rise, Fall, and Resurgence of an American Gang

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In gangster lore, the Almighty Black P Stone Nation stands out among the most notorious street gangs. But how did teens from a poverty-stricken Chicago neighborhood build a powerful organization that united 21 individual gangs into a virtual nation? Natalie Y. Moore and Lance Williams answer this and other questions in a provocative tale that features a colorful cast of characters from white do-gooders, black nationalists, and community organizers to overzealous law enforcement. The U.S. government funded the Nation. Louis Farrakahn hired the gang--renamed the El Rukns in a tribute to Islam--as his Angels of Death. Fifteen years before 9/11, the government convicted the gang of plotting terrorist acts with Libyan leader Mu'ammar Gadhafi; currently, founding member Jeff Fort is serving a triple life sentence. An exciting story about the evolution of a gang, the book is an exposé of how minority crime is targeted as well as a timely look at urban violence