Thursday, February 28, 2019

Make Me a City

Dense and overwhelming at times; but the scale, beauty, and depth of this novel is jaw dropping and makes it worth the effort. Make Me a City is a novel that shows the rapid growth of Chicago from 1800 to 1900 from a variety of different viewpoints and formats. From letters to chapbooks to interviews to essays and orations; the character building is immense. And what's crazy is most characters are just minor footnotes, there are a few who keep popping up over the decades along with their descendants, but the scope of the people that help tell the story of building the world's greatest city is mind-blowing. Most don't even know about the imprint their leaving behind or don't understand that their journey is one of the reasons that Chicago is the way it is. From a small mulatto man who was robbed off his homestead in 1800 to the digging of canals, the raising of streets, commandeering the railways, the building of skyscrapers, Marshall Fields, the Great Chicago Fire, and the World's Fair; this unconventional historical novel tells the story of a city through the eyes of those who came first, respected her, and were far from the top of the heap. It's marvelous and unique.

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