City of Scoundrels

January 24th, 2013by Gary JohnsonFiled under: Stories

Gary Krist. City of Scoundrels: The 12 Days of Disaster that Gave Birth to Modern Chicago. New York: Crown Publishers (2012).


This is the story of a year as much as tells the story of twelve days. The return of troops from World War I to a shaky economy, the Spanish flu pandemic—these factors alone made 1919 a difficult year for any American city. In Chicago on July 21, the downtown crash of a blimp, the Wingfoot Express, inaugurated a cataclysmic series of events during an unthinkable twelve-day period. That story is remarkable enough, but there is another reason for aficionados of Chicago to read this book: the flesh-and-blood portrayal of the colorful Mayor Big Bill Thompson.

A recent issue of the Museum’s magazine featured an excerpt from City of Scoundrels. 
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One Response to “City of Scoundrels”

  1. Paul D. Stokes Says:

    Very inviting to learn about those “12 days”. Wonder if those days still continue even today, same smell different spell as a friend of mine said, he happens to be Cubs fan. A very appropriate title about this Windy City, too bad the city itself did not change the way the weather quickly does.

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