Chicago: City on the Make Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Chicago: City on the Make

The premise is, the city's been on the make since the first fur-trader hornswaggled the first Pottawattomi Indian and the acceleration of such innate corruption is what shaped the great city. The work is a mile-a-minute dishing out of historical references, allegations and celebrations.
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The review of this Book prepared by Ernesto Guitarra

Nelson Algren, one of the most important Chicago-based 20th century writers, offers a highly personal, poignant and poetic interpretation of Midwestern history in "City on the Make." Using his childhood reaction to the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal as a springboard, he indicts the powers that controlled Chicago's political, social and economic life for the first half of the 20th century, and the effects their policies and practices had on the "little people" of the city. Although written in 1951,this book's meditations on the relationships between powerful and powerless, races and religions, materialism and humanism, are still relevant today. A 50th anniversary edition, footnoted to explain various incidents in the original book for today's readers, was published in 2001. Anyone interested in the "how and why" of Chicago's hidden history would do well to use this book as a starting point.
The review of this Book prepared by Nina D. Gaspich/Nelson Algren Committee

Chapter Analysis of Chicago: City on the Make

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Kind Of History

Time of history:    -   20th century    -   19th century    -   18th century    -   17th century History of a people?    -   Yes Nationality?    -   American-Midwest

Subjects of this Historical Account

Ethnicity (if plays a major part)    -   European/White Is the portrayal sympathetic?    -   Neutral    -   Somewhat unsympathetic From a certain profession/group?    -   politicians    -   criminals/outlaws Intelligence of subject of history:    -   Smart


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest Big City?    -   Yes City:    -   Chicago If applicable, liberal/conservative?    -   Historian is very liberal

Writing Style

How much gore?    -   2 () How fast-paced is the book?    -   9 () Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Book makes you feel...    -   challenged    -   in awe How much focus on stories of individuals?    -   Focuses on brief history of a lot of players    -   Focuses mostly on the people/nation level How much romance?    -   1 () Is book humorous?    -   Yes If humorous, kind of humor    -   Dry-cynical    -   satire Minor characters feature lots of:    -   criminals    -   blue collar types Is this a kid's book?    -   Ages 16-Adult Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None Length of book    -   Less than 150 pages    -   150-200 pages How much emphasis on small details?    -   3 ()

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Nelson Algren Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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