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Did you know Chicago is home to absolute scads of wonderful authors? We here at The Book Cellar love supporting local, and here you can find books written by your fellow Chicagoans in addition to titles that'll teach you The Windy City has a richer history than you'd even guess!

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Chicago Books!

Blood on Steel Chicago Steelworkers and the Strike of 1937

Blood on Steel Chicago Steelworkers and the Strike of 1937

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A pivotal moment in the history of the movement for working-class democracy, the "Memorial Day Massacre" vividly captured the conflicting ideals of workers' rights and the sanctity of private property.

On Memorial Day 1937, thousands of steelworkers, middle-class supporters, and working-class activists gathered at Sam's Place on the Southeast Side of Chicago to protest Republic Steel's virulent opposition to union recognition and collective bargaining. By the end of the day, ten marchers had been mortally wounded and more than one hundred badly injured, victims of a terrifying police riot. Sam's Place, the headquarters for the steelworkers, was transformed into a bloody and frantic triage unit for treating heads split open by police batons, flesh torn by bullets, and limbs mangled badly enough to require amputation.

While no one doubts the importance of the Memorial Day Massacre, Michael Dennis identifies it as a focal point in the larger effort to revitalize American equality during the New Deal. In Blood on Steel, Dennis shows how the incident--captured on film by Paramount newsreels--validated the claims of labor activists and catalyzed public opinion in their favor.

In the aftermath of the massacre, Senate hearings laid bare patterns of anti-union aggression among management, ranging from blacklists to harassment and vigilante violence. Companies were determined to subvert the right to form a union, which Congress had finally recognized in 1935. Only in the following year would Congress pass the Fair Labor Standards Act, which established a minimum wage and a maximum work week, outlawed child labor, and regulated hazardous work. Like the Wagner Act that protected collective bargaining, this law aimed to protect workers who had suffered the worst of what the Great Depression had inflicted.

Dennis's wide-angle perspective reveals the Memorial Day Massacre as not simply another bloody incident in the long story of labor-management tension in American history but as an illustration of the broad-based movement for social democracy which developed in the New Deal era.

Blood Runs Green

Blood Runs Green

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It was the biggest funeral Chicago had seen since Lincoln's. On May 26, 1889, four thousand mourners proceeded down Michigan Avenue, followed by a crowd forty thousand strong, in a howl of protest at what commentators called one of the ghastliest and most curious crimes in civilized history. The dead man, Dr. P. H. Cronin, was a respected Irish physician, but his brutal murder uncovered a web of intrigue, secrecy, and corruption that stretched across the United States and far beyond.

Blood Runs Green tells the story of Cronin's murder from the police investigation to the trial. It is a story of hotheaded journalists in pursuit of sensational crimes, of a bungling police force riddled with informers and spies, and of a secret revolutionary society determined to free Ireland but succeeding only in tearing itself apart. It is also the story of a booming immigrant population clamoring for power at a time of unprecedented change.

From backrooms to courtrooms, historian Gillian O'Brien deftly navigates the complexities of Irish Chicago, bringing to life a rich cast of characters and tracing the spectacular rise and fall of the secret Irish American society Clan na Gael. She draws on real-life accounts and sources from the United States, Ireland, and Britain to cast new light on Clan na Gael and reveal how Irish republicanism swept across the United States. Destined to be a true crime classic, Blood Runs Green is an enthralling tale of a murder that captivated the world and reverberated through society long after the coffin closed.

Blood, Sex and Prayer

$12.00
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Bloodstains

$13.99
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Blue Chicago: Search For Authenticity In Urban Blues Clubs

Blue Chicago: Search For Authenticity In Urban Blues Clubs

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The club is run-down and dimly lit. Onstage, a black singer croons and weeps of heartbreak, fighting back the tears. Wisps of smoke curl through the beam of a single spotlight illuminating the performer.
For any music lover, that image captures the essence of an authentic experience of the blues. In "Blue Chicago," David Grazian takes us inside the world of contemporary urban blues clubs to uncover how such images are manufactured and sold to music fans and audiences. Drawing on countless nights in dozens of blues clubs throughout Chicago, Grazian shows how this quest for authenticity has transformed the very shape of the blues experience. He explores the ways in which professional and amateur musicians, club owners, and city boosters define authenticity and dish it out to tourists and bar regulars. He also tracks the changing relations between race and the blues over the past several decades, including the increased frustrations of black musicians forced to slog through the same set of overplayed blues standards for mainly white audiences night after night. In the end, Grazian finds that authenticity lies in the eye of the beholder: a nocturnal fantasy to some, an essential way of life to others, and a frustrating burden to the rest.
From B.L.U.E.S. and the Checkerboard Lounge to the Chicago Blues Festival itself, Grazian's gritty and often sobering tour in "Blue Chicago" shows us not what the blues is all about, but why we care so much about that question.
Blue Way: How to Profit by Investing in a Better World

Blue Way: How to Profit by Investing in a Better World

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Turning conventional wisdom on its head, The Blue Way shows why socially progressive companies that make political contributions to "blue" politicians and causes outperform "red" companies.

The idea that progressives are better at businesses than conservatives will surprise most people - including many progressives. But as The Blue Way shows, in nearly every sector of the economy, blue companies are the top performers. As a result, an investor who places his money in stocks of blue companies will do better than one who chooses red companies or who chooses to invest in the market as a whole. In The Blue Way, Daniel Adamson and Joe Andrew, cofounders of Blue Investment Management, identify the companies that have the most progressive social values - fair wages, equal opportunity, environmental responsibility - and also contribute to progressive political causes (or are at least neutral). They describe the portfolio they have built around those companies, which to date has out-performed the market. Their innovative investment strategy offers a profitable approach for investors seeking a principled and successful stock portfolio.

But The Blue Way is also a stirring manifesto, a call to embrace socially and politically progressive values. As the authors show, these values aren't anti-business; they are pro-American. For decades the American economy has performed better under Democratic administrations than under Republicans. Americans who "buy blue," say Adamson and Andrew, aren't just acting on their values; they are helping to grow the American economy. The authors explain how to build a "blue infrastructure," a progressive ecosystem in which companies and activists with progressive values can support blue politicians and causes. The Blue Way shows how the progressive movement can learn from the success of the blue business world and create a new progressive majority for the future.
The Blue Way describes a revolutionary investment strategy back by solid financial research that benefits investors while fostering socially progressive American values.

Bluebirds Used to Croon In the Choir

Bluebirds Used to Croon In the Choir

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Winner of 2006 The Society of Midland Authors Adult Fiction Award

Children who anesthetize--and dress up--small wild animals in an ill-fated attempt to cheer their grieving mother; childhood friends who ritually return every year to the site of their near-kidnapping; an awkward teen trying to find his place among the cultural ruins of Greek Mythology Camp; brothers brought together, if not by mutual understanding, by a strange need to steal airport baggage: these are some of the characters who inhabit--and invariably tell--the stories in Joe Meno's Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir. Oddballs and charmers and would-be lovers, they are souls not so much lost as wandering, looking for something better, almost getting laid, trying to explain or, if all else fails, to entertain--and this they unfailingly do. Rarely has fiction so understated produced such hilarity and heartbreak.

Novelist, music journalist, and playwright Meno writes squarely in the American tradition of wringing large effects from small change, revealing the subtlety in the broad stroke, and conveying complexity with seeming simplicity. Celebrated for its unflinching honesty (Entertainment Weekly) and for its poetic and visceral style (Booklist), his work resonates with the unmistakable magic and curious mystery of modern life.

Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing

Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing

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Now considered a dysfunctional mess, Chicago s public housing projects once had long waiting lists of would-be residents hoping to leave the slums behind. So what went wrong? To answer this complicated question, D. Bradford Hunt traces public housing s history in Chicago from its New Deal roots through current mayor Richard M. Daley s Plan for Transformation. In the process, he chronicles the Chicago Housing Authority s own transformation from the city s most progressive government agency to its largest slumlord.

Challenging explanations that attribute the projects decline primarilyto racial discrimination and real estate interests, Hunt argues that well-intentioned but misguided policy decisions ranging from design choices to maintenance contracts also paved the road to failure. Moreover, administrators who fully understood the potential drawbacks did not try to halt such deeply flawed projects as Cabrini-Green and the Robert Taylor Homes. These massive high-rise complexes housed unprecedented numbers of children but relatively few adults, engendering disorder that pushed out the working class and, consequently, the rents needed to maintain the buildings. The resulting combination of fiscal crisis, managerial incompetence, and social unrest plunged the CHA into a quagmire from which it is still struggling to emerge.

"Blueprint for Disaster," then, ""is an urgent reminder of the havoc poorly conceived policy can wreak on our most vulnerable citizens."

Boarded Up Chicago: Storefront Images Days After the George Floyd Riots

Boarded Up Chicago: Storefront Images Days After the George Floyd Riots

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Product Description:

"It should be in the Library of Congress and everyplace else"
-Perri Small, WVON Radio Chicago
"Boarded Up Chicago is 218 pages of vibrant captivating artwork"
-Maudlyne Ihejirika, Chicago Suntimes
NBC 5 Chicago 2020 Making A Difference Award Winners
-Chris and Zachary Slaughter: Boarded Up Chicago
"218 pages of Fantastic Photography"
- WFLD Fox 32 Chicago Morning Show
Boarded Up Chicago has been featured on the following Media Outlets:
Chicago Suntimes, Chicago Parent Magazine, Citizens Newspaper Group, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, Block Club Chicago, Reel Urban News, We Still Teach- Sponsored by the Chicago Teachers Union, WKKC Radio Chicago, WVON Radio Chicago, WTTW 11 Chicago Black Voices Inaugural Season, Fox 32 Chicago Morning Show, and NBC 5 Chicago Evening News. Reviews:

"This is an important Historical Document"
- Thomas E. S. Miller, Amazon Purchaser
"One for the History Books"
- Amazon Customer
"A Record of our Time. Speechless. I knew this was going to be a special render, but I didn't fathom how visually impressive this would be. I didn't fathom how emotionally impressive this would be. I didn't fathom how viscerally impressive this would be. Well Done."
-Juliet Dervin, Amazon Purchaser "If you haven't bought the book yet. I encourage you to get your copy ASAP!...I'm so impressed how a dad, taking the time to spend with his son and help his son process the traumatic experience that affected all of us, and turned out into an amazing project. Thank you Chris and Zachary Slaughter for an amazing book that speaks up for all of us! It's timeless, it's part of our history and it exemplifies the beauty that came out of chaos."
-Cheryl Young, FB

Introduction:
During the first half of 2020, Americans endured the COVID_19 Crisis, quarantine, massive loss of lives and historic unemployment. Then the death of George Floyd, yet another unarmed black man, dead at the hands of police became too much for the citizens to bear. The people rioted across the country, property was looted and destroyed. Soon store owners would board up their looted or vulnerable businesses. Afterward, the local artist used those blank wooden boards as canvases to express themselves. This book with over 200 color photographs, specifically arranged to tell our collective story, resulted. Welcome to...Boarded Up Chicago.

Body in Belmont Harbor - A Paul Whelan Mystery

Body in Belmont Harbor - A Paul Whelan Mystery

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Body Of Brooklyn

Body Of Brooklyn

$26.00
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In The Body of Brooklyn David Lazar, an acclaimed essayist and prose stylist, offers a vividly detailed, hilarious, and touching recollection of his Brooklyn upbringing in the 1960s and 70s. His immigrant Jewish heritage and his bodily history--from the travails of childhood obesity to the sexual triumphs of post-adolescent leanness--form the core of this series of essays, all of which will win the interest and admiration of readers. More-over, this film-flavored confection is so infused with Lazar's fascinating turn of mind and memory, forever digressing and reflecting upon his digressions, without ever losing the thread of his story, that his essays will give the reader the distinctive pleasure of witnessing an extraordinary mental performance.
Book Of Ralph

Book Of Ralph

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The Ralph you know is better than the Ralph you don't.

Remember Ralph? He was the kid who failed grade school not once but twice, the kid who was constantly, unwaveringly up to no good. He was the outsider you avoided at all costs. But who precisely was Ralph? And whatever happened to him?

"The Book of Ralph," a resonant tale of boys growing up together, reintroduces you to the Ralph you once knew. Suffused with wit and charm, this dazzling story draws readers inexorably into the lives and antics of Hank -- a good boy, a B+ student -- and his troublemaking classmate Ralph, who takes Hank to places he has never dreamed of -- places on the edge, sometimes, of genuine danger.

It is 1978 in Chicago. Hank wants eighth grade to be his big year to shine. But when Ralph starts acting as if he and Hank are best friends, things don't go quite according to plan -- in fact, Hank's special year spirals into an odyssey that is as frightening as it is hilarious, as poignant as it is bizarre.

Reluctant cohort though he may be, Hank none-theless joins forces with Ralph and his older cousins, Norm and Kenny, employees of the Tootsie Roll factory; together, they wreak havoc over Chicago's southwest side. For good or ill, Hank's right there by his side when, for instance, Ralph becomes a thug-for-hire and starts stalking a fellow eighth-grader with plans to bite off his ear (rate: $15.00). For his part, Ralph proves his loyalty in unexpected ways, including a show of solidarity with Hank's grandmother when she's hauled in for a series of shoe-store robberies. Through it all, in a year that sees the rise of Styx, Cheap Trick, and Kiss, Hank doesn't win the popularity or acclaim he'd hoped eighthgrade would bring. But as the adult world seems increasingly opportunistic and indifferent, his alliance with Ralph offers him an escape, and even some wisdom. By the end of the school year, though, unanticipated events have altered the nature of their friendship, possibly forever.

John McNally, an award-winning author and an exciting new voice in fiction, presents a delightful, warm-hearted coming-of-age tale replete with the terrors and wonders of early adolescence. Hank and Ralph are an irresistible and entirely surprising blend of wise beyond their years and awestruck at the world made available to them as high school approaches. Beautiful in its plainspoken insight into the experience of teenage boys and all human beings, this story exquisitely renders those flashes of transcendence that can occur in everyday life.

As they seek to survive eighth grade, a bad economy, and threadbare family lives, Hank and Ralph give us a window into the ties that bind us together, hold us back, and sometimes redeem us.

Book of Ralph

Book of Ralph

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Chicago, 1978. Hank Boyd, a solid B+ student, a good kid, wants eighth grade to be his special year. But when Ralph, a troublemaker who's failed both the third and fifth grades, starts thinking that he and Hank are best friends, Hank's year becomes an odyssey that is as frightening as it is hilarious. Hank and Ralph join forces with Ralph's older cousins, Norm and Kenny, employees of the Tootsie Roll factory, and together they wreak havoc over Chicago's southwest side. It's a year of Styx, Cheap Trick, and Kiss, of Star Wars and CB radios, and of two very different boys attempting to make sense of the world, and of each other. When Hank, in a chance encounter, bumps into Ralph twenty-two years later, he quickly learns how much the past has a stranglehold on the present, and he can't help slipping back into the same role he played as a kid - a role that, as an adult, is fraught with far more serious consequences. THE BOOK OF RALPH is exquisitely rendered and defiantly unsentimental - a smart, assured novel from a wickedly astute young writer.
Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago

Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago

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The best book ever written about an American city, by the best journalist of his time."-- Jimmy Breslin

New edition of the classic story of the late Richard J. Daley, politician and self-promoter extraordinaire, from his inauspicious youth on Chicago's South Side through his rapid climb to the seat of power as mayor and boss of the Democratic Party machine. A bare-all account of Daley's cardinal sins as well as his milestone achievements, this scathing work by Chicago journalist Mike Royko brings to life the most powerful political figure of his time: his laissez-faire policy toward corruption, his unique brand of public relations, and the widespread influence that earned him the epithet of "king maker." The politician, the machine, the city--Royko reveals all with witty insight and unwavering honesty, in this incredible portrait of the last of the backroom Caesars.

New edition includes an Introduction in which the author reflects on Daley's death and the future of Chicago.

Boystown, Season 1

Boystown, Season 1

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One of the most diverse and lively neighborhoods in the country, Chicago's Boystown has something for everyone. So it's no wonder that Jesse Morgan and Cole O'Brien chose to live there upon graduating from college. Ready to begin the next phase of their lives in an exciting new city, Jesse and Cole quickly find themselves at the center of a new group of friends.Joyelle and Derek Mancini have been happily married for years, but Derek is harboring a secret that could tear them apart. Derek's brother Emmett is about to discover that his boyfriend Keith Colgan has a past that will haunt them both. Long time couple Logan Pryce and Max Taylor must face a crisis that neither of them expected. And, before they realize it, Jesse and Cole find themselves at the center of it all in the adult playground known as Boystown.Against the backdrop of the vibrant Chicago skyline, some couples are brought together while others are torn apart, once-buried family vendettas are resurrected, and friends unite to face the challenges that life throws their way.Family. Love. Deception. Romance. Power. Revenge. Passion. Betrayal.Welcome to BOYSTOWN!
Bradbury Chronicles : The Life of Ray Bradbury

Bradbury Chronicles : The Life of Ray Bradbury

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Accomplished journalist Sam Weller met the Ray Bradbury while writing a cover story for the Chicago Tribune Magazine and spent hundreds of hours interviewing Bradbury, his editors, family members, and longtime friends. With unprecedented access to private archives, he uncovered never-before-published letters, documents, and photographs that help tell the story of this literary genius and his remarkable creative journey. The result is a richly textured, detailed biography that illuminates the origins and accomplishments of Bradbury's fascinating mind.

Breaking into the Safe of Life

Breaking into the Safe of Life

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Bridges of Memory: Chicago's Second Generation of Black Migration

Bridges of Memory: Chicago's Second Generation of Black Migration

$34.95
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Winner of 2006 Jewish Council on Urban Affairs Courageous Voices Award

In the second volume of Bridges of Memory, historian Timuel D. Black Jr. continues his conversations with African-Americans who migrated to Chicago from the South in search of economic, social, and cultural opportunities. With his trademark gift for interviewing, Black-himself the son of first-generation migrants to Chicago-guides these individual discussions with ease, resulting in first-person narratives that are informative and entertaining.

Picking up where the first book left off, volume 2 introduces the reader to more members of the first wave of migration and also members of the second generation, the children of those who came in the first wave. In telling their stories, the interviewees paint a vivid picture of the thriving and tight-knit Chicago community formerly known as the Black Belt--today's historic Bronzeville neighborhood. They bring to life the role of family, religion, business, music, and, most of all, the hopes, dreams, and perseverance that enabled a group of people to establish a successful community within a larger society that seemed determined to keep them from success. The experiences of these diverse and vivid personalities often illustrate the role that racial prejudice has played in shaping the specific arcs of their lives. But personal histories such as these are not just chronicles of frustration and despair; more important these narratives reveal an unwavering dedication to breaking the color line and a tireless pursuit of their right to the promise of America.