Why does the city of Chicago have a monument, gifted by a Fascist dictator, commemorating another Fascist? And why does it still stand?
Unreal Realism: Chicago’s Avant-Garde Women
Chicago—for women artists of various backgrounds—demanded a new art to advance the struggle for freedom by imagining other possible worlds.
Watching “Go Fish” with My Queer 15-Year-Old
“You can wear something to be cool,” you told me, “or because another person likes it. You don’t have to be truly ‘yourself,’ or whatever.”
Is “Regulation from Below” Possible?
A powerful grassroots movement campaigned in the ’70s and ’80s for banks to reinvest equitably in red-lined urban communities. It failed—but why?
The US Arrested Her—Then She Changed Chicago
In the 1960s, Chicago’s white neighborhoods didn’t want Mexican Americans moving in. But one determined real estate broker changed everything.
How Mexican Chicago Remembers Tenochtitlan
500 years have passed since the fall of the Aztec capitol. But like that city, Pilsen’s power lies not in its buildings, but in its people.
“Redlining Does Not End”: Talking with Rebecca Marchiel on Housing and Racism
“They all wanted to imagine a different possibility of an integrated neighborhood, where folks worked together.”
Open Letters, Open Secrets: Laurence Ralph on Police Torture in Chicago
“People rise through the ranks and are allowed to hide torture in plain sight because they become complicit.”
Like Sands through the Hourglass
What will our children remember of this time, when their play and freedom are confined—or freed—by the digital?
How to Defund the Police
The inconvenient truth of police history in the United States is that police departments were not designed to keep a generic public safe.
Chicago Yesterday and Today: A Conversation with Carlo Rotella
Carlo Rotella is a professor of American studies, English, and journalism at Boston College; he’s also one of the most talented writers in the humanities ...
What Was Public Housing?
Any debate about American public housing will eventually have to reckon with Chicago. More specifically, it will have to reckon with that city’s wrecked projects. Those closest to the issue have ...
Michelle Obama’s Embrace
I told Michelle Obama that I admired Becoming for its courage, honesty, risk taking, and optimism. But my admiration went further, because in her story I had seen myself, and not just in the book’s main character ...
Toward the Black Girl Future
To read Eve L. Ewing is to read Chicago. Born and raised in the city’s Logan Square neighborhood in the 1980s and 1990s, Ewing’s love for the city is palpable in ...
“Our Emancipation Day”: Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago
Chicago’s strategies to keep African American movement limited throughout the city . . .
Editor 2 Editor: Priya Nelson and Joe Calamia
How important to an editor is the spark one feels (or doesn’t) about a potential project? How does one identify books that are surprising, new, and relevant? And ...
“Say Chi City”
If you want to fall wrackingly, despairingly in love with a place, here’s what you do: leave it. When I was young and wintering out my graduate years, marooned in the penitential bleakness of upstate ...
How the Cubs Won
Sports history is made all the time—and most of it consists of phenomena that rank at the level of Trivial Pursuits: x number of homeruns, y number of strikeouts, a few hundredths of a second here ...
The Book That Made Me: A Sociologist
A renowned American sociologist reflects on the book that persuaded him to abandon a career playing bar piano in Chicago ...
Baltimore has The Wire, Newark, The Sopranos, and for seven seasons Chicago has had The Good Wife. The city with North America’s highest number of annual civilian deaths by cop and its very own ...