This is one of the absolute best books about Chicago. I could not put it down. Reading it felt like I was enjoying a rich feast, helping myself to generous servings of history and biography and insight.
THE THIRD COAST: WHEN CHICAGO BUILT THE AMERICAN DREAM by Thomas Dyja
• Winner of the Chicago Tribune‘s 2013 Heartland Prize
• The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2013
• American Society of Landscape Architects Best Books of 2013
• Huffington Post’s 13 Best Books of 2013
Even if you know Chicago pretty well, The Third Coast will still prove eye-opening. It is the story of Chicago after WWII and before 1960, a very intense and transformative time for the city and the nation. Dyja expertly weaves together the stories of significant personalities and the forces that moved them: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Ray Kroc, Hugh Hefner, Nelson Algren, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mahalia Jackson, Muddy Waters, Sun Ra, Studs Terkel, Richard J. Daley and more. Chicago is seen in all its glorious creative ferment but also in its racist ugliness. The disparate worlds of Chicago art, literature, politics, architecture and urban planning, business, religion and morality come together in this brilliant book. I can’t recommend it highly enough.