The Great Chicago Fire

Front Cover
University of Illinois Press, 1990 - History - 287 pages
3 Reviews
On October 8, 1871, four decades after its founding, Chicago's destiny was rewritten "with a pen of fire." In this imaginative and penetrating study, Ross Miller considers the mythic proportions of the Great Chicago Fire as the city reshaped its own tragedy into an archetype of the modern struggle against adversity.
Amid myriad eyewitness and photographic accounts of the fire, a consideration of what had actually happened was quickly subordinated to a developing narrative that attempted to resolve the city's conflicted identity into a unity. Disaster was recast as opportunity, and a period that began with catastrophic destruction ended in the triumph of the World's Columbian Exposition. Within a generation of the fire, Chicago became home to a radical new architecture, a daring new realistic fiction, literary journalism, and the new scientific study of society.

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Review: The Great Chicago Fire

User Review  - Kristy - Goodreads

Come for the info, stay for the abundance of pictures. A difficult read, but great for reference. Read full review


2Reluctant Modernism
3Derrick Time
The Fire as Image
The Shanty and the Skyscraper
6Wrights Piano
7Chicago Black and White
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About the author (1990)

Ross Miller is a professor in the Department of English and the Program in Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut at Storrs.

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