The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream, by Thomas L. Dyja. PART 1 of 2.

Nov 14, 01:00 AM


(Photo: Chicago lakefront 1938)

Twitter: @batchelorshow

The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream, by Thomas L. Dyja. PART 1 of 2.

Booklist*Starred Review* “Dyja contends that “Understanding America requires understanding Chicago,” and he shows why in this robust, outspoken, zestfully knowledgeable, and seductively told synthesis of biography, culture, politics, and history. Writing with velocity, wry wit, and tough lyricism in sync with Chicago’s “ballsy” spirit, Dyja focuses on the years between the Great Depression and 1960, dissecting the city’s “three most powerful ­institutions––the Cook County Democratic Party, the Catholic Church, and the Mob.” As vibrant and clarifying as his overarching vision is, what makes this such a thrilling read are Dyja’s fresh and dynamic portraits not only of the first Mayor Daley and his machine but also of key artists and innovators who embodied or amplified Chicago’s earthiness, grit, audacity, and beauty, including writers Nelson Algren and Gwendolyn Brooks, the multitalented Studs Terkel, singer Mahalia Jackson, architect Mies van der Rohe, jazz visionary Sun Ra, and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. Dyja pieces it all together, from the city’s epic political corruption, vicious racism, and ethnic enclaves to the ferment that gave rise to world-changing architecture, urban blues and gospel, McDonald’s, improv comedy, and the “birth of television.” Here is the frenetic simultaneity of an evolving city torn between its tragic crimes and failings and tensile strength and creativity.” --Donna Seaman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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sligo - 11 days ago

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