Volume I was reported on April 1, 1927, and carried the story through to 1848. This volume goes through the Chicago Fire in 1871, the period during which Chicago grew from a pioneer settlement with a town economy, to the economy of a metropolis. Trade, transportation, finance, politics, labor, the Civil War and its aftermath, government, health, the start of a park system, religion, culture, journalism, social services, and the niceties of life -- such are the general topics. The handling is very objective and impersonal, the focus on the group rather than the individual. I found it less interesting for an outsider to read than the record of pioneer days, but it promises to be the definitive history of a great city.