In a blend of history, memoir, and photography, the Pulitzer Prize winner paints a vivid portrait of this extraordinary American city.
Chicago was home to the country’s first skyscraper (a ten-story building built in 1884), and marks the start of the famed Route 66. It is also the birthplace of the remote control (Zenith) and the car radio (Motorola), and the first major American city to elect a woman (Jane Byrne) and then an African American man (Harold Washington) as mayor.
Its literary and journalistic history is just as dazzling, and includes Nelson Algren, Mike Royko, and Sara Paretsky. From Al Capone to the street riots during the Democratic National Convention in 1968, Chicago, in the words of Studs Terkel, “has—as they used to whisper of the town’s fast woman—a reputation.”
Chicago was also home to Terkel, the Pulitzer Prize–winning oral historian, who moved to Chicago in 1922 as an eight-year-old and who would make it his home until his death in 2008 at the age of ninety-six. This book is a splendid evocation of Studs Terkel’s hometown in all its glory—and all its imperfection.