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City of Scoundrels

Cover of City of Scoundrels

City of Scoundrels

The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago
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When 1919 began, the city of Chicago seemed on the verge of transformation. Modernizers had an audacious, expensive plan to turn the city from a brawling, unglamorous place into "the Metropolis of the World." But just as the dream seemed within reach, pandemonium broke loose and the city's highest ambitions were suddenly under attack by the same unbridled energies that had given birth to them in the first place.

It began on a balmy Monday afternoon when a blimp in flames crashed through the roof of a busy downtown bank, incinerating those inside. Within days, a racial incident at a hot, crowded South Side beach spiraled into one of the worst urban riots in American history, followed by a transit strike that paralyzed the city. Then, when it seemed as if things could get no worse, police searching for a six-year-old girl discovered her body in a dark North Side basement.

City of Scoundrels captures the tumultuous birth of the modern American city, with all of its light and dark aspects in vivid relief.

When 1919 began, the city of Chicago seemed on the verge of transformation. Modernizers had an audacious, expensive plan to turn the city from a brawling, unglamorous place into "the Metropolis of the World." But just as the dream seemed within reach, pandemonium broke loose and the city's highest ambitions were suddenly under attack by the same unbridled energies that had given birth to them in the first place.

It began on a balmy Monday afternoon when a blimp in flames crashed through the roof of a busy downtown bank, incinerating those inside. Within days, a racial incident at a hot, crowded South Side beach spiraled into one of the worst urban riots in American history, followed by a transit strike that paralyzed the city. Then, when it seemed as if things could get no worse, police searching for a six-year-old girl discovered her body in a dark North Side basement.

City of Scoundrels captures the tumultuous birth of the modern American city, with all of its light and dark aspects in vivid relief.

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About the Author-
  • GARY KRIST has written for the New York Times, Esquire, Salon, the Washington Post Book World, and other publications. He is the author of the acclaimed The White Cascade as well as several works of fiction.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine What shapes a city? In the case of Chicago, several catastrophic events almost 100 years ago helped form the Midwestern metropolis. In 1919, residents endured a horrific accident, massive riots, and a widening social-class system. Through it all was ÒBig BillÓ Thompson, a political machine in the making. As Krist details the political and social climate of the day, Rob Shapiro's steady narration gives the listener a feel for what Chicagoans had to endure. Shapiro doesn't overdo the drama in this well-researched story about the city's growing pains, Big Bill's larger-than-life persona, and residents' frustrations. Rather, he acts as an objective history teacher, letting the facts speak for themselves. M.B. © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine
  • Kirkus Reviews

    "(An) eager narrative that delivers vivid reading."

  • Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent "The most compelling adventure yarn, full of crashing dirigibles, bloody riots, and classic crooks. Loved it."
  • New York Times "A lavishly intricate, well-paced account of a great city lashed to the breaking point by a political perfect storm."
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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City of Scoundrels
City of Scoundrels
The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago
Gary Krist
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