The Third Coast

The Third Coast

When Chicago Built the American Dream

Book - 2014
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A critically acclaimed history of Chicago at mid-century, featuring many of the incredible personalities that shaped American culture

Before air travel overtook trains, nearly every coast-to-coast journey included a stop in Chicago, and this flow of people and commodities made it the crucible for American culture and innovation. In luminous prose, Chicago native Thomas Dyja re-creates the story of the city in its postwar prime and explains its profound impact on modern America--from Chess Records to Playboy , McDonald's to the University of Chicago. Populated with an incredible cast of characters, including Mahalia Jackson, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry, Sun Ra, Simone de Beauvoir, Nelson Algren, Gwendolyn Brooks, Studs Turkel, and Mayor Richard J. Daley, The Third Coast recalls the prominence of the Windy City in all its grandeur.
Publisher: New York, New York : Penguin Books, ©2014.
ISBN: 9780143125099
Characteristics: xxxiv, 508 pages :,illustrations, maps ;,22 cm.


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Oct 06, 2015

I returned this book last week

Jane60201 Jun 21, 2014

Having grown up in Hyde Park during the period covered by this book, I now understand a lot about the city that I was too young to understand then. I loved it.

Oct 25, 2013

Why is it that everyone who writes about Chicago feels the need to describe their characters with a heavy patina? Not everyone in the city is a criminal,corruptible official, or poet. Not all grown men approach sex as a conquest...well then again Chicago did give birth to that good ole human woodpecker, Hugh Hefner. (Which reminds me of my favorite David Letterman quip ever, "Why isn't the Playboy Building located on Wacker Drive?")

Yet, that's the sense you get from this highly selective view of Chicago VIPs. After reading this book I felt like I had just watched a badly colorized movie on TBS. Or spent too many hours with my head buried in People Magazine.

Also, the author makes the bold claim that Chicago defined the nation during the mid century. While he certainly makes the case that a lot was going on in Chicago at that time, I just didn't think he proved his point that Chicago was the place to be. Important, yes. The center of the universe? Because it had Kookla, Fran, and Ollie? Maybe I am missing something but I don't think so.

Not all that glitters isn't gold though. There are indeed some nice little historical nuggets that Chicago fans will enjoy.


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Baxter555 Mar 10, 2016

Most of us don't realize

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