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The third coast: when Chicago built the American dream

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New York : The Penguin Press, 2013.
Physical Desc:
xxxiv, 508 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
977.311 D996 2013
North Natomas
977.311 D996 2013

A cultural history of Chicago at midcentury, with its incredible mix of architects, politicians, musicians, writers, entrepreneurs, and actors who helped shape modern America

Though today it can seem as if all American culture comes out of New York and Los Angeles, 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. Between the end of World War II and 1960, Mies van der Rohe's glass and steel architecture became the face of corporate America, Ray Kroc's McDonald's changed how people eat, Hugh Hefner unveiled Playboy, and the Chess brothers supercharged rock and roll with Chuck Berry. At the University of Chicago, the atom was split and Western civilization was packaged into the Great Books.

Yet even as Chicago led the way in creating mass-market culture, its artists pushed back in their own distinct voices. In literature, it was the outlaw novels of Nelson Algren (then carrying on a passionate affair with Simone de Beauvoir), the poems of Gwendolyn Brooks, and Studs Terkel's oral histories. In music, it was the gospel of Mahalia Jackson, the urban blues of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, and the trippy avant-garde jazz of Sun Ra. In performance, it was the intimacy of Kukla, Fran and Ollie, the "Chicago School" of television, and the improvisational comedy troupe Second City whose famous alumni are now everywhere in American entertainment.

Despite this diversity, racial divisions informed virtually every aspect of life in Chicago. The chaos—both constructive and destructive—of this period was set into motion by the second migration north of African Americans during World War II. As whites either fled to the suburbs or violently opposed integration, urban planners tried to design away "blight" with projects that marred a generation of American cities. The election of Mayor Richard J. Daley in 1955 launched a frenzy of new building that came at a terrible cost—monolithic housing projects for the black community and a new kind of self-satisfied provincialism that sped up the end of Chicago's role as America's meeting place.

In luminous prose, Chicago native Thomas Dyja re-creates the story of the city in its postwar prime and explains its profound impact on modern America.

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977.311 D996 2013
On Shelf
977.311 D996 2013
Due May 21, 2024
North Natomas
977.311 D996 2013
On Shelf
South Natomas
977.311 D996 2013
Due May 25, 2024
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Includes bibliographical references (pages 418-488) and index.
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APA Citation (style guide)

Dyja, T. (2013). The third coast: when Chicago built the American dream. New York, The Penguin Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Dyja, Thomas. 2013. The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream. New York, The Penguin Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Dyja, Thomas, The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream. New York, The Penguin Press, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Dyja, Thomas. The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream. New York, The Penguin Press, 2013.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Last Sierra Extract TimeMay 18, 2024 06:47:45 PM
Last File Modification TimeMay 18, 2024 06:48:26 PM
Last Grouped Work Modification TimeMay 19, 2024 03:32:13 AM

MARC Record

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5050 |a Part One. 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 Two. 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 Three. 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 Four. 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 Five. 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.
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