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Challenging Chicago:
Coping with Everyday Life, 1837-1920

by Perry R. Duis

ISBN 0252074157 / 9780252074158 / 0-252-07415-7
Publisher University of Illinois Press
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

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. [via]