Chicago: The Second City

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U of Nebraska Press, Feb 1, 2004 - Literary Collections - 143 pages
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Many Chicagoans rose in protest over A. J. Liebling?s tongue-in-cheek tour of their fair city in 1952. Liebling found much to admire in the Windy City?s people and culture?its°colorful language, its political sophistication, its sense of its own history and specialness, but Liebling offended that city?s image of itself when he discussed its entertainments, its built landscapes, and its mental isolation from the world?s affairs.

Liebling, a writer and editor for the New Yorker, lived in Chicago for nearly a year. While he found a home among its colorful inhabitants, he couldn?t help comparing Chicago with some other cities he had seen and loved, notably Paris, London, and especially New York. His magazine columns brought down on him a storm of protests and denials from Chicago?s defenders, and he gently and humorously answers their charges and acknowledges his errors in a foreword written especially for the book edition. Liebling describes the restaurants, saloons, and striptease joints; the newspapers, cocktail parties, and political wards; the university; and the defining event in Chicago?s mythic past, the Saint Valentine?s Day Massacre. Illustrated by Steinberg, Chicago is a loving, if chiding, portrait of a great American metropolis.


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CHICAGO: The Second City

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A blast- at the windy city, as a New Yorker correspondent (where these pieces had their original appearance) offers an outlander's insights on some of her institutions, attitudes, and overstated ... Read full review

Chicago: the second city

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The text of both collections was originally serialized in The New Yorker. Chicago (1952) is based on Liebling's one-year residence there and is a mishmash of his observations. Mollie (1962) covers World War II. Read full review

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So Proud to Be Jammyjammy
At Her Feet the Slain Deer
The Massacree

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About the author (2004)

A. J. Liebling (1904?63) was a longtime contributor and columnist for the New Yorker. He wrote The Sweet Science and nineteen other books of nonfiction, including Mollie and Other War Pieces, also available in a Bison Books edition. Saul Steinberg was a cartoonist and illustrator best known for his covers and illustrations in the New Yorker.

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