City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster That Gave Birth to Modern Chicago

Author: Gary Krist

If you’re not interested in Chicago history, skip this book.

For those of you still with me, there’s a lot to learn from this story.

The author sheds light on a short period of time in 1919 when a lot of things happened. I knew about none of them before reading.

Here’s some highlights:

  • A hydrogen blimp exploded over downtown, crashing into one of the largest banks in the city and killing and injuring a many people.
  • A little girl is reported missing, leading to a city-wide search and the arrest of a very suspicious suspect. Also the rest of the city’s parents start paying close attention to adults who hang around children.
  • And probably most important – a week of race riots turn the city into a war zone. The mayor delays calling in the state militia for way too long. The governor avoids sending them in directly for political reasons. It’s bad.

If you’ve made it this far you may want to pick this one up.

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