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CHICAGO by A.J. Liebling


The Second City

by A.J. Liebling

Pub Date: June 23rd, 1952
ISBN: 0803280351
Publisher: Knopf

A blast- at the windy city, as a New Yorker correspondent (where these pieces had their original appearance) offers an outlander's insights on some of her institutions, attitudes, and overstated claims to fame. From the dinginess of her appearance, to the civic self-approbation of her gestures, from the purely quantitative approach and the "first or nothing" psychology which discolors her thinking habits, this goes on to her leading citizens- Insull and Capone and the "miasmic influence" of Colonel McCormick; her saloons and her race tracks; her social life- "round-robbinical"-limited and exhausting; her theatres and stores which reflect a certain distrust of native produce; her press and industry; the disgraceful housing conditions- and the racial feeling it helps to stimulate; the University of Chicago and the easy way to an I.B.M. tabulated degree; etc., etc. An anatomy, with precision instruments and more than a little wicked humor, this in its remorseless revelations should amuse where it does not insult.