Society of Midland Authors Books Blog, April 2, 2015 — As the Society of Midland Authors celebrates its 100th birthday, we present a history of the organization, starting with this look at its origins. In 1914, Carl Sandburg called Chicago “Hog Butcher for the World.” Edgar Lee Masters, a Chicago lawyer born in Kansas, was giving voice to the common… Continue reading A History of the Society of Midland Authors, Part 1
Chicago magazine, March 2015 — Blood Runs Green Reexamines One of the Most Notorious Crimes in Chicago. The 1889 murder of Patrick Henry Cronin is at the center of this insightful new book by Gillian O’Brien. Read my review in Chicago magazine.
Chicago Tribune, February 7, 2015 — Almost as soon as automobiles appeared on the streets of Chicago, people wondered whether driving induced insanity. Read more of my Chicago Tribune story.
WBEZ’s Curious City, October 2014 — A thought experiment conducted by WBEZ’s Curious City, inspired by a question posed by Chicagoan Kevin Borgia. What if one of the most famous events in Chicago history — the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 — never happened? What would the city look like today? Read — and hear… Continue reading What if the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 never happened?
Chicago magazine, August 2014 — Failed Dreams: Chicago’s transit history is littered with grand plans that never quite got off the ground. Read my story in Chicago magazine.
This article by Robert Loerzel originally appeared in Playbill magazine in 2014. In 1902, Parisians laughed whenever they heard the name “Chicago.” In cafes, they joked about that city in America where some judge had just ruled that the popular French play Cyrano de Bergerac was a work of plagiarism. Incroyable! And even more unbelievable,… Continue reading The Chicago developer who sued Cyrano’s author for plagiarism
Chicago Tribune, May 3, 2014 — Chicago’s fastest, rudest bicyclists were called “scorchers.” They hunched over their handlebars as they raced in the streets. Read my story in the Chicago Tribune.
WBEZ’s Curious City, April 29, 2014 — No one knows who threw the bomb near Haymarket Square on the night of May 4, 1886. It’s one of Chicago’s most vexing unsolved mysteries. But there’s little question that this violent act had huge repercussions — not only in Chicago but around the world… Read — and hear — my… Continue reading After Haymarket: Anarchism on trial and a city in search of its soul
WBEZ’s Curious City, February 10, 2014 — Tracy Miller noticed something about Chicago when she moved here nine years ago. “I meet many people who say they are native Chicagoans,” she says. “It seems like there are more natives still residing here than in other cities I have lived in.” … Read — and hear… Continue reading Native numbers: How many Chicagoans were born in the city?
Chicago magazine, September 5, 2013 — The Hyperloop may be in the news now, but shuttles powered by a burst of air were supposed to be the future of transportation in Chicago a century ago… Read my story for Chicago magazine. Photo: Chicago Tribune archives