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The Third Coast

When Chicago Built the American Dream
Dyja, Tom (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Third Coast
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Much of what defined the nation as it grew into a superpower was produced in Chicago. Before air travel overtook trains, nearly every coast-to coast journey included a stop there, and this flow of people and commodities made it America's central clearinghouse, laboratory, and factory. And even as Chicago led the way in creating mass-market culture, its artists pushed back in their own distinct voices. Chicago native Thomas Dyja re-creates the story of the city in its postwar prime and explains its profound impact on modern America.
Authors: Dyja, Tom
Title: The third coast
when Chicago built the American dream
Publisher: New York :, The Penguin Press,, 2013.
Characteristics: xxxiv, 508 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Contents: Part 1. Pre-1945. The brick is another teacher ; We were part of them ; Washed up on a favorable shore ; The ideal world of Mr. Hutchins
Part 2. 1945-1949. The chaos of our conceptions ; Believers in the city ; A discovered beauty ; Until my change comes ; A local youth in love ; Let me do one by myself ; A fresh time ; The balance of power ; This program came to you from Chicago ; A city of slightbrows
Part 3. 1950-1954. Stand up and be counted ; Living separate lives ; Nobody knows my name ; The lonely crowd ; Convention summer ; Playwrights and playboys ; Chicagsky temp
Part 4. 1955. A family man for a family city ; The blues have a baby ; American hungers ; Theater without heroes ; What kind of world do we live in? ; We like it this way
Part 5. 1956-1960. Chicago dynamic ; Beta people for a beta world ; Gaining a moon and losing ourselves ; Will somebody please listen to me today! ; The realm of the unreal
Epilogue: In Chicago for my forever.
Summary: Much of what defined the nation as it grew into a superpower was produced in Chicago. Before air travel overtook trains, nearly every coast-to coast journey included a stop there, and this flow of people and commodities made it America's central clearinghouse, laboratory, and factory. And even as Chicago led the way in creating mass-market culture, its artists pushed back in their own distinct voices. Chicago native Thomas Dyja re-creates the story of the city in its postwar prime and explains its profound impact on modern America.
Local Note: 6 7 9 15 35 53 76 80 109 118 133 148 149 173 250
ISBN: 1594204322
9781594204326
Statement of Responsibility: Thomas Dyja
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (pages 463-488) and index.
Subject Headings: United States Relations Illinois Chicago. Chicago (Ill.) Relations United States. Chicago (Ill.) Intellectual life 20th century. Chicago (Ill.) Social conditions 20th century. Chicago (Ill.) History 20th century.
LCCN: 2012039710
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Jun 21, 2014
  • Jane60201 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Having grown up in Hyde Park during the period covered by this book, I now understand a lot about the city that I was too young to understand then. I loved it.

Oct 25, 2013
  • rsalvino1 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Why is it that everyone who writes about Chicago feels the need to describe their characters with a heavy patina? Not everyone in the city is a criminal,corruptible official, or poet. Not all grown men approach sex as a conquest...well then again Chicago did give birth to that good ole human woodpecker, Hugh Hefner. (Which reminds me of my favorite David Letterman quip ever, "Why isn't the Playboy Building located on Wacker Drive?")

Yet, that's the sense you get from this highly selective view of Chicago VIPs. After reading this book I felt like I had just watched a badly colorized movie on TBS. Or spent too many hours with my head buried in People Magazine.

Also, the author makes the bold claim that Chicago defined the nation during the mid century. While he certainly makes the case that a lot was going on in Chicago at that time, I just didn't think he proved his point that Chicago was the place to be. Important, yes. The center of the universe? Because it had Kookla, Fran, and Ollie? Maybe I am missing something but I don't think so.

Not all that glitters isn't gold though. There are indeed some nice little historical nuggets that Chicago fans will enjoy.

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