Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Gustaitis provides an interesting, informative snapshot of Chicago's architectural, cultural, political, and social life at one of the most significant times in its history. There were many firsts and accomplishments in 1893, beginning with the defining event of the decade, the World's Columbian Exposition. It set in motion a long list of developments and transformations within the city that would affect its residents for generations to come, from the establishment of art museums, universities, and major corporations, to the enrichment of its literary, religious, sports, and social institutions. Included are discussions of the founding of the Chicago Public Library, Art Institute, Field Museum, and Museum of Science and Industry, all established in response to the exposition. The author examines the commercial and residential architecture of Louis Sullivan and the "Chicago School" and the legacies of great names such as Armour, Sears, Wrigley, Moody, and Addams. Especially interesting is a discussion of American realist authors Henry Blake Fuller, Theodore Dreiser, and John Mead Howells. Of interest to general readers, visitors to Chicago, historians, and those interested in urban history and American studies. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. J. W. Stamper University of Notre Dame
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Chicago and the year 1893 are inextricably linked by the city's hosting of the Columbian Exposition, the glittering fair celebrating both history and emerging technologies. Gustaitis, a freelance writer who lives in Chicago, shows that a variety of other achievements also happened in Chicago in that year, which cemented the status of the city as a great metropolis. Some of the firsts described here seem minor, even frivolous, such as the invention of Juicy Fruit gum. Others were truly significant: Daniel Hale Williams, an African American surgeon, performed open-heart surgery; Sears and Roebuck was incorporated and would soon revolutionize the retail business; both the Field Museum and the Art Institute were founded. By telescoping on this single year, Gustaitis is able to describe these developments in substantial detail. This is a well-written tribute to his city and an excellent piece of local history.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2010 Booklist