“In all the seven seas and the lands bordering thereon there is probably no name which more quickly calls up thoughts of crime, violence, and wickedness than does that of Chicago.” So wrote journalist R. L. Duffus at the height of the Jazz Age—and he was not alone in that opinion. During those heady days, writers and newspapers nationwide lamented Chicago’s utter filth and brutality. For most, the Windy City conjured images of slums, squalor, and social pathology. An industrial Gomorrah that made heroes of corrupt politicians, mob bosses, and murderers, Chicago had a serious image problem.
Enter the Chicagoan. Urbane in aspiration and first published just sixteen months after the first appearance of the New Yorker in 1925, the magazine sought passionately to redeem Chicago’s unhappy reputation. In its own words, the popular biweekly claimed to represent “a cultural, civilized, and vibrant” city “which needs make no obeisance to Park Avenue, Mayfair, or the Champs-Elysees.” The University of Chicago Press is proud to publish The Chicagoan: A Lost Magazine of the Jazz Age by noted historian Neil Harris. The book brings this forgotten magazine back to brilliant and vivid life for a new generation of readers to enjoy.
Read the press release.