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Today, we armchair travel to the Windy City for a deep-dive into what makes Chicago different from every other city in America. We break the rules a little bit and discuss six books we love that explore Chicago’s culture, food, and history of rabble-rousers and heroes.
Chicago is a representation of everything that makes the United States the awesome and challenging country that it is. There’s a tradition there of firsts — the skyscraper, the telegraph, the Twinkie — and a commitment to industry with railroads and shipping and meatpacking and teamsters.
There’s also a sobering history of race riots and gangsters. Daring muckrakers and corrupt politicians. Life-affirming jazz and blues musicians and baseball. Hot dogs, deep-dish pizza, and Italian beef sandwiches. And a population made up of immigrants from all over Europe that’s spawned high-spirited, tough-minded native Chicagoans.
We cover all of this and more in our discussion of books and life in Chicago.
For a complete roundup of all the books we recommend, plus the full transcript and the other cool stuff we talked about, visit the Episode 09 show notes.
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Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
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