Cover for DUIS: Challenging Chicago: Coping with Everyday Life, 1837-1920. Click for larger image

Challenging Chicago

Coping with Everyday Life, 1837-1920

Hard lives and how they were lived in old Chicago

During an unprecedented period of rapid growth, the burgeoning metropolis of Chicago quickly became a “concentration of risk”: far more congested, dangerous, unpleasant, immoral, and unhealthy than newcomers had anticipated. Through vignettes and real-life stories, Challenging Chicago reveals lower- and middle-class peoples’ strategies for coping with technology, crowding, anonymity, and other urban ills.

Follow along and encounter some of Chicago’s most infamous citizens--the loathed Traction Baron, high-speed “scorchers,” and peddlers of “swill milk.” Learn about the perils of payday, the lunchtime problems of women, the lure of dime museums, and the fatal attraction of Chicago’s “cruelest place.” Against this bleak backdrop emerged the innovators and institutions that made Chicago the vibrant city it is today. The superbly textured narrative is enhanced by eighty-six historic photographs and illustrations.

"Not only is Challenging Chicago a model of how to turn a collection of articles into a book, it is one of the best books ever written about Chicago. . . . Duis has mastered an incredible amount of information (the illustrations and endnotes are worth the price of the book). . . . After reading Challenging Chicago you will never again look at the urban landscape -- the streets, the river, the warehouses, the neighborhoods, the houses and the architecture -- without seeing the remains of the city that once was, and without thinking of the people who lived there."--James L. Swanson, Chicago Tribune

"A fascinating glimpse at the excitement as well as the dangers and risks of life in one of the world's great industrial cities. . . . Chicago, a tough, wonderful place, finds expression in Duis's fascinating book."--James R. Barrett, The Historian

Perry R. Duis, a professor of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is the author of Chicago: Creating New Traditions and other books.

To order online:
http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/57zms8wb9780252074158.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
The Mormon Church and Blacks

A Documentary History

Edited by Matthew L. Harris and Newell G. Bringhurst

Spatializing Blackness

Architectures of Confinement and Black Masculinity in Chicago

Rashad Shabazz

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Road to the New Deal, 1882-1939

Roger Daniels

Cold War on the Airwaves

The Radio Propaganda War against East Germany

Nicholas J. Schlosser

Funk the Erotic

Transaesthetics and Black Sexual Cultures

L. H. Stallings

Cupcakes, Pinterest, and Ladyporn

Feminized Popular Culture in the Early Twenty-First Century

Edited by Elana Levine

Word Warrior

Richard Durham, Radio, and Freedom

Sonja D. Williams

This Is Not Dixie

Racist Violence in Kansas, 1861-1927

Brent M. S. Campney

Grounds of Engagement

Apartheid-Era African American and South African Writing

Stéphane Robolin

Humane Insight

Looking at Images of African American Suffering and Death

Courtney R. Baker