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City of the Century

The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America



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About The Book

The epic of Chicago is the story of the emergence of modern America. Here, witness Chicago's growth from a desolate fur-trading post in the 1830s to one of the world's most explosively alive cities by 1900.

Donald Miller's powerful narrative embraces it all: Chicago's wild beginnings, its reckless growth, its natural calamities (especially the Great Fire of 1871), its raucous politics, its empire-building businessmen, its world-transforming architecture, its rich mix of cultures, its community of young writers and journalists, and its staggering engineering projects—which included the reversal of the Chicago River and raising the entire city from prairie mud to save it from devastating cholera epidemics. The saga of Chicago's unresolved struggle between order and freedom, growth and control, capitalism and community, remains instructive for our time, as we seek ways to build and maintain cities that retain their humanity without losing their energy. City of the Century throbs with the pulse of the great city it brilliantly brings to life.

About The Author

Photograph by Austin Medina

Donald L. Miller is the John Henry MacCracken Professor of History Emeritus at Lafayette College and author of ten books, including Vicksburg, and Masters of the Air, currently being made into a television series by Tom Hanks. He has hosted, coproduced, or served as historical consultant for more than thirty television documentaries and has written for The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and other publications.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 3, 1997)
  • Length: 704 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780684831381

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Raves and Reviews

John Barron Chicago Sun-Times With City of the Century, Miller has written what will be judged as the great Chicago history.

David McCullough author of John Adams Brims with life, with people, surprise, and with stories -- and stories within stories -- all worth telling.

Morris Dickstein The Washington Post Sweeping and beautifully written.

Michiko Kakutani The New York Times A wonderfully readable account of Chicago's early history.

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