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Chicago History

Book review: “City Indian: Native American Activism in Chicago, 1893-1934” by Rosalyn R. LaPier and David R. M. Beck

Between Chicago’s two World’s Fairs in 1893 and 1933-34, very few Native Americans lived in and around Chicago. Indeed, the numbers were so low that, in City Indian: Native American Activism in Chicago, 1893-1934 (University of Nebraska Press, 268 pages, $30), historians Rosalyn R. LaPier and David R. M. Beck are able to list each…

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Book review: “Chicago’s Great Fire: The Destruction and Resurrection of an Iconic American City” by Carl Smith

  Devastation is devastation, whether brought about by fire or pandemic. The Great Chicago Fire occurred nearly a century and a half ago, but the experience of living through that cataclysm has many parallels with Chicago in the year of Covid-19. It was probably late last year that Northwestern University historian Carl Smith and his…

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Book review: “Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical” by Jacqueline Jones

It is a telling irony that Lucy Parsons — one of the most famous African-American women in Chicago’s history — pretended she wasn’t black. Not only that.  According to historian Jacqueline Jones, Parsons did little or nothing to help black Chicagoans despite her 70-year career as a labor activist, anarchist and would-be revolutionary in the…

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