Cover for MADIGAN: Global Chicago. Click for larger image

Global Chicago

The economic development and transformation of Chicago from industrial powerhouse to global metropolis

Once known for gangsters and meatpacking, Chicago was virtually synonymous with the rough and tumble side of the industrial era. Today, however, Chicago has outgrown even national prominence to become a truly global city--one of the most famous and most important in the world. Global Chicago is the first book to describe Chicago's transformation from industrial powerhouse to global metropolis. It will change the way both Chicagoans and the rest of the world view the city.

Chicago has a long history of adaptation. Having gone from a swampy trading post to a major industrial center, Chicago also rebuilt itself in the wake of a devastating fire to become one of the world's great architectural showcases. While many former industrial centers became mere shadows of themselves, Chicago succeeded by transformed itself again. The Chicago of today is a hub for corporate headquarters like those of Motorola, Boeing, and United Airlines. It is a transportation and information crossroads, with the busiest airport in North America as well as the most internet traffic. With over 120 foreign language newspapers, it is also home to vast and vibrant immigrant communities, a focus of global services, and a center for global law and medicine.

Essay authors include professors from top institutions, veteran journalists, experts on labor and government, and the presidents of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. By drawing on the expertise of the city's leading players, Global Chicago offers unique insights into the city's global assets and its economic, social, intellectual, and cultural links to the world as seen from an insider's perspective. Their essays probe deeply into the financial and governmental infrastructure crucial for success by reflecting on specific lessons to be learned from the example of worldwide Chicago businesses.

Amidst the ruthless international competition that characterizes globalization, Chicago makes decisions today that will affect both its success and character for the coming century. Global Chicago serves simultaneously as a catalog of achievements that would make anyone proud to call the city home and a timely counsel for ensuring its future as a world leader.


Charles Madigan is a senior correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and the editor of the Tribune's Perspective section. He is the coauthor of Dangerous Company: Management Consultants and the Companies They Save and Ruin.

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