The Third City: Chicago And American Urbanism

Paperback | September 18, 2015

byLarry Bennett

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Our traditional image of Chicago—as a gritty metropolis carved into ethnically defined enclaves where the game of machine politics overshadows its ends—is such a powerful shaper of the city’s identity that many of its closest observers fail to notice that a new Chicago has emerged over the past two decades. Larry Bennett here tackles some of our more commonly held ideas about the Windy City—inherited from such icons as Theodore Dreiser, Carl Sandburg, Daniel Burnham, Robert Park, Sara Paretsky, and Mike Royko—with the goal of better understanding Chicago as it is now: the third city.

Bennett calls contemporary Chicago the third city to distinguish it from its two predecessors: the first city, a sprawling industrial center whose historical arc ran from the Civil War to the Great Depression; and the second city, the Rustbelt exemplar of the period from around 1950 to 1990. The third city features a dramatically revitalized urban core, a shifting population mix that includes new immigrant streams, and a growing number of middle-class professionals working in new economy sectors. It is also a city utterly transformed by the top-to-bottom reconstruction of public housing developments and the ambitious provision of public works like Millennium Park. It is, according to Bennett, a work in progress spearheaded by Richard M. Daley, a self-consciously innovative mayor whose strategy of neighborhood revitalization and urban renewal is a prototype of city governance for the twenty-first century. The Third City ultimately contends that to understand Chicago under Daley’s charge is to understand what metropolitan life across North America may well look like in the coming decades.

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Our traditional image of Chicago—as a gritty metropolis carved into ethnically defined enclaves where the game of machine politics overshadows its ends—is such a powerful shaper of the city’s identity that many of its closest observers fail to notice that a new Chicago has emerged over the past two decades. Larry Bennett here tackles s...

Larry Bennett is professor of political science at DePaul University. He is the author and coauthor of numerous books, including Fragments of Cities: The New American Downtowns and Neighborhoods, Neighborhood Politics: Chicago and Sheffield, and It’s Hardly Sportin’: Stadiums, Neighborhoods, and the New Chicago.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.8 inPublished:September 18, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022632379X

ISBN - 13:9780226323794

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. The Third City

2. Renditions of Chicago

3. The Mayor among His Peers

4. The City of Neighborhoods

5. Wresting the New from the Once Modern

6. Chicago and American Urbanism

Notes

Index

Editorial Reviews

"Scholars of cities have long recognized the importance of Chicago—the ‘American’ city—embodying something of every epoch of U.S. urbanism. In his book The Third City political scientist Larry Bennett, too, places Chicago in the enduring pantheon of these American urbanism(s). As such, this study takes its place along side the very best on the American city. Just as discussions of Chicago by such luminaries as Mike Royko, Milton Rakove, Arnold Hirsch, and Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor have added indelibly to our understanding of the American city, so too does this contribution by Larry Bennett give us at once a glimpse of the past and, even more important, a fully realized sense of the present and our urban future. In a broad-ranging and highly original treatment of Chicago, Bennett places this city, its past, present and future, very clearly at the forefront of what it takes to understand American cities and the literature concerned with their analysis."