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City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago | [Gary Krist]

City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago

When 1919 began, the city of Chicago seemed on the verge of transformation. Modernizers had an audacious, expensive plan to turn the city from a brawling, unglamorous place into "the Metropolis of the World". But just as the dream seemed within reach, pandemonium broke loose and the city’s highest ambitions were suddenly under attack by the same unbridled energies that had given birth to them in the first place.
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Publisher's Summary

When 1919 began, the city of Chicago seemed on the verge of transformation. Modernizers had an audacious, expensive plan to turn the city from a brawling, unglamorous place into "the Metropolis of the World". But just as the dream seemed within reach, pandemonium broke loose and the city’s highest ambitions were suddenly under attack by the same unbridled energies that had given birth to them in the first place.

It began on a balmy Monday afternoon when a blimp in flames crashed through the roof of a busy downtown bank, incinerating those inside. Within days, a racial incident at a hot, crowded South Side beach spiraled into one of the worst urban riots in American history, followed by a transit strike that paralyzed the city. Then, when it seemed as if things could get no worse, police searching for a six-year-old girl discovered her body in a dark North Side basement.

City of Scoundrels captures the tumultuous birth of the modern American city, with all of its light and dark aspects in vivid relief.

©2012 Gary Krist (P)2012 Random House

What the Critics Say

"[An] eager narrative that delivers vivid reading." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (41 )
5 star
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3.8 (35 )
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Story
4.2 (35 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tim McGrath Chicago 08-20-12
    Tim McGrath Chicago 08-20-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    68
    ratings
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    39
    20
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    Story
    "Crashed like a Blimp"

    Krist wrote a gripping prologue but then the narrative crashed to the ground on the first page of the first chapter. Bogged down by detail, it is dry and dull. All the helium leaked out of the story and it never took off again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cookie Anacortes, WA, United States 08-30-12
    Cookie Anacortes, WA, United States 08-30-12 Member Since 2011

    Cookie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    382
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    233
    52
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    63
    21
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    Story
    "Great History of a Great City"

    I loved every detailed moment of this fascinating tour de force. There are times that you can feel the heat and wish for just a hint of a breeze off the lake. Some of the characters will make you cringe as with all great cities, Chicago is known for political corruption on a grand scale, but the sleaze might just make you squirm. I am very happy to say there are some good characters too, thank goodness. Get ready for a trip through history and let this wonderful city envelope you in all it's moods.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris 02-25-13
    chris 02-25-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    93
    31
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    FOLLOWING
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    "You have to be from Chicago and love its history"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    If you like Chicago history then this is for you. Otherwise its just names and dull events


    Has City of Scoundrels turned you off from other books in this genre?

    What genre is it?


    Have you listened to any of Rob Shapiro’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    What character would you cut from City of Scoundrels?

    The author


    Any additional comments?

    Skip this one if you seek entertainment

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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