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The Art of Migration
Birds, Insects, and the Changing Seasons in Chicagoland
Paintings by Peggy Macnamara
University of Chicago Press, 2013
Tiny ruby-throated hummingbirds weighing less than a nickel fly from the upper Midwest to Costa Rica every fall, crossing the six-hundred-mile Gulf of Mexico without a single stop. One of the many creatures that commute on the Mississippi Flyway as part of an annual migration, they pass along Chicago’s lakefront and through midwestern backyards on a path used by their species for millennia. This magnificent migrational dance takes place every year in Chicagoland, yet it is often missed by the region’s two-legged residents. The Art of Migration uncovers these extraordinary patterns that play out over the seasons. Readers are introduced to over two hundred of the birds and insects that traverse regions from the edge of Lake Superior to Lake Michigan and to the rivers that flow into the Mississippi.

As the only artist in residence at the Field Museum, Peggy Macnamara has a unique vantage point for studying these patterns and capturing their distinctive traits. Her magnificent watercolor illustrations capture flocks, movement, and species-specific details. The illustrations are accompanied by text from museum staff and include details such as natural histories, notable features for identification, behavior, and how species have adapted to environmental changes. The book follows a gentle seasonal sequence and includes chapters on studying migration, artist’s notes on illustrating wildlife, and tips on the best ways to watch for birds and insects in the Chicago area.

A perfect balance of science and art, The Art of Migration will prompt us to marvel anew at the remarkable spectacle going on around us.

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Challenging Uneven Development
An Urban Agenda for the 1990s
Nyden, Philip
Rutgers University Press, 1991

The editors and contributors to this volume are not willing to accept what is known as uneven development, where some cities win and some lose. They look at two practical consequences of urban growth:  the change in residence patterns as neighborhoods gentrify, and the change in employment patterns, as factory workers lose jobs and white-collar workers gain jobs. The editors' goal is to highlight the alternatives to uneven development and to the growth ideology. They outline and advocate specific policies, including affordable housing, changes in taxation, and direct community participation in planning and zoning decisions. 

Challenging Uneven Development begins with a rousing discussion of the pervasiveness of the community redevelopment ideology. The growth machine defines the language of the debate. The next group of chapters examine residence patterns--how communities have organized to fight gentrification, why residential integration is essential for good planning as well as morality, and what strategies can be used to achieve racial diversity.  Another chapter emphasizes the role of lenders in regulating the flow of credit within communities.  Disinvestment by credit providers causes decline, and opens the way for gentrification, which displaces local residents. The impact of taxes in stimulating the growth machine is also explained. 

Later chapters move beyond gentrification issues to examine other problems of economic restructuring. They look at how blacks, Latinos, and women have been affected by the growth of service sector jobs. The final chapter serves as a strategic guide to those who wish to establish a progressive agenda for community-based economic development.  The authors call for social change, not unimaginative reform.

The contributors to this volume are leaders or researchers from community organizations, civic groups, government agencies, and universities. In addition to the editors, they are Mel King, Teresa Cordova, Daniel Lauber, Jena Pogge, David Flax-Hatch, Arthur Lyons, Wendy Wintermute, Charles Hicklin, Jeffrey D. Reckinger, David Mosena, Charlotte Chun, Raymndo Flores, Luther Snow, Deborah Bennett, John Betancur, and Patricia Wright. They have presented  "state-of-the-art"  progressive policy solutions for urban problems.


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Chicago Metropolis 2020
The Chicago Plan for the Twenty-First Century
Elmer W. Johnson
University of Chicago Press, 2001
In the late nineteenth century, Chicago was a commercial colossus, a city growing more quickly than New York, flooded with industrial money and brassy confidence but ravaged by great income disparities, dangerously lax health standards, and labor upheavals. For Chicago to become the city it could be, civic leaders recognized the need for order and planning, both to solve Chicago's problems and to prepare it for a prosperous future. The result was architect Daniel Burnham's 1909 plan for Chicago, a model of urban planning, aesthetic sophistication, and technical achievement.

Nearly a century later, Chicago, like all cities, faces similar dilemmas: how to reconcile privatism with public control, growth with restraint, wealth with poverty, and beauty with industry. And as it did a hundred years ago with the Burnham Plan, the Commercial Club has sponsored a wholly contemporary plan for the city's future development. Written by Elmer W. Johnson, a lawyer and civic leader, Chicago Metropolis 2020 is a guide for those in all spheres of influence who are working to make cities economically and socially vigorous while addressing the greatest problems modern metropolises face. While Burnham's plan primarily addressed architecture and spatial planning, Chicago Metropolis 2020 addresses all facets of urban life, from public education to suburban sprawl, from transportation to social and economic segregation, with the expressed goal of continuing Chicago's tradition of renewal and foresight.

Chicago Metropolis 2020 is an ambitious and necessary plan for a major city at the turn of the century. In scope and execution, it aims at nothing less than economic vibrancy, quality of life, and equity of opportunity.

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Metropolis of the Mid-Continent, 4th Edition
Irving Cutler. Foreword by James F. Marran
Southern Illinois University Press, 2006

Chicago: Metropolis of the Mid-Continent provides a comprehensive portrayal of the growth and development of Chicago from the mudhole of the prairie to today’s world-class city. This completely revised fourth edition skillfully weaves together the geography, history, economy, and culture of the city and its suburbs with a special emphasis on the role of the many ethnic and racial groups that comprise the “real Chicago” of its neighborhoods. Cutler demonstrates how the geography of “Chicagoland” and the influx of a diverse population spurred transportation, industrial technology, the economy, and sporadic planning to foster rapid urban growth, which brought both great progress and severe problems.

Through insightful analysis, Cutler also traces the demographic and societal changes to Chicago, critically examining such problems as the environment, education, racial tension, crime, welfare, housing, employment, and transportation. Richly illustrated with nearly three hundred drawings, photos, maps, and tables, the volume includes six appendices with sections dedicated to Chicago facts, population growth and income data, weather and climate, significant dates, and historic sites.


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A Court That Shaped America
Chicago's Federal District Court from Abe Lincoln to Abbie Hoffman
Richard Cahan
Northwestern University Press, 2002
Big and small dramas play out every day in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Headquartered in Chicago, the court has played a pivotal role in U.S. history. This is where Abraham Lincoln, as a young lawyer, changed the direction of westward expansion when he argued that trains-not steamships-were America's future. This is where Al Capone met his fall, at a trial that finished him as Public Enemy Number One. And this is where Abbie Hoffman, the nation's first Yippie, butted heads with Judge Julius J. Hoffman and the Establishment at the trial known as the Conspiracy Eight.

A Court That Shaped America traces the flesh-and-blood courtroom scenes from the district's first cases in the early nineteenth century through the turn of the millennium. Historical figures—including Mormon leader Joseph Smith, inventor Thomas Edison, and author Mark Twain—as well as contemporary superstars like Michael Jackson and Oprah Winfrey have all had their day in the Northern Illinois court. Some were victorious; some came out scathed. This book examines these great trials and the people behind them to offer a unique look at Chicago and U.S. history.

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Crossing the Class and Color Lines
From Public Housing to White Suburbia
Leonard S. Rubinowitz and James E. Rosenbaum
University of Chicago Press, 2000
From 1976 to 1998, the Gautreaux Assisted Housing Program moved over 7,000 low-income black families from Chicago's inner city to middle-class white suburbs—the largest and longest-running residential, racial, and economic integration effort in American history. Crossing the Class and Color Lines is the story of that project, from the initial struggles and discomfort of the relocated families to their eventual successes in employment and education—cementing the sociological concept of the "neighborhood effect" and shattering the myth that inner-city blacks cannot escape a "culture of poverty."

"This book's history of Chicago public housing should be required reading for anyone interested in social policy in the United States."—Jens Ludwig, Social Service Review

"[The authors'] work is rightly cited as one of the important precedents in the field. . . . This is a remarkable, unassailable accomplishment and this book is an important record of their scholarly contribution."—John M. Goering, Ethnic and Racial Studies

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The Electric City
Energy and the Growth of the Chicago Area, 1880-1930
Harold L. Platt
University of Chicago Press, 1991
No symbol of progress in our century is more galvanizing than electricity—electric power and the technology it has spawned. The "invisible world" of electric energy that was emerging at the turn of the century is one we take for granted, but its influence on the growth and quality of city life was, and remains, profound. Using Chicago as a test case, Harold L. Platt investigates the emergence of an urban-based, energy-intensive society over the course of half a century in this first book-length history of energy use in the city.

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From Cottage to Bungalow
Houses and the Working Class in Metropolitan Chicago, 1869-1929
Joseph C. Bigott
University of Chicago Press, 2001
It's hard to overestimate the complexity of the factors that dictate something as simple as where, and in what sorts of structures, people live. Urban planning, business, labor, ethnicity, architecture—each influences the types of structures people live in, and the sorts of lives they lead within them.

Joseph C. Bigott takes on all of these fields in From Cottage to Bungalow, a sophisticated study of domestic structures and ethnic working-class neighborhoods in Chicago during the critical period of 1869 to 1929, when the city attracted huge numbers of immigrants. Exploring the meaning of home ownership in this context, Bigott develops two case studies that combine the intimate lives of ordinary people (primarily in Chicago's Polish and German communities) with broad analysis of everything from real estate markets to the very carpentry practices used to construct houses. His progressive methods and the novel conclusions they support chronicle not only the history of housing in Chicago, but also the organizations of people's lives, and the ways in which housing has affected notions of who is—and who is not—a worthy American citizen.


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A Healthy Nature Handbook
Illustrated Insights for Ecological Restoration from Volunteer Stewards of Chicago Wilderness
Edited by Justin Pepper and Don Parker
Island Press, 2021
The Chicago metropolitan area is home to far more protected nature than most people realize. Over half a million acres of protected land known as the Chicago Wilderness are owned and managed by county forest preserve districts and other public and private sector partners. But there’s a critical factor of the Chicago Wilderness conservation effort that makes it unique: a pioneering grassroots volunteer community, thousands strong, has worked for decades alongside agency staff to restore these nearby natural areas, learning how to manage biodiversity in an altered and ever-changing urban context.
A Healthy Nature Handbook captures hard-earned ecological wisdom from this community in engaging and highly readable chapters, each including illustrated restoration sequences. Restoration leaders cover large-scale seeding approaches, native seed production, wetland and grassland bird habitat restoration, monitoring, and community building. 

Contributions from local artists bring the region’s beauty to life with vibrant watercolors, oil paintings, and sketches. A Healthy Nature Handbook is packed with successful approaches to restoring nature and is a testament to both the Chicago region’s surprising natural wealth and the stewards that are committed to its lasting health. 

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Managing the Fiscal Metropolis
The Financial Policies, Practices, and Health of Suburban Municipalities
Rebecca M. Hendrick
Georgetown University Press, 2013

Managing the Fiscal Metropolis: The Financial Policies, Practices, and Health of Suburban Municipalities is an important book. This first comprehensive analysis of the financial condition, management, and policy making of local governments in a metropolitan region offers local governments currently dealing with the Great Recession a better understanding of what affects them financially and how to operate with less revenue.

Hendrick’s groundbreaking study covers 264 Chicago suburban municipalities from the late 1990s to the present. In it she identifies and describes the primary factors and events that affect municipal financial decisions and financial conditions, explores the strategies these governments use to manage financial conditions and solve financial problems, and looks at the impact of contextual factors and stresses on government financial decisions. Managing the Fiscal Metropolis offers new evidence about the role of contextual factors— including other local governments—in the financial condition of municipalities and how municipal financial decisions and practices alter these effects. The wide economic and social diversity of the municipalities studied make its findings relevant on a national scale.


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Natural Landscape Amenities and Suburban Growth
Metropolitan Chicago, 1970-1980
Christopher Mueller-Wille
University of Chicago Press, 1990

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Planning as Persuasive Storytelling
The Rhetorical Construction of Chicago's Electric Future
James A. Throgmorton
University of Chicago Press, 1996
Planning as Persuasive Storytelling is a revealing look at the world of political conflict surrounding the Commonwealth Edison Company's ambitious nuclear power plant construction program in northern Illinois during the 1980s. Examining the clash between the utility, consumer groups, community-based groups, the Illinois Commerce Commission, and the City of Chicago, Throgmorton argues that planning can best be thought of as a form of persuasive storytelling. A planner's task is to write future-oriented texts that employ language and figures of speech designed to persuade their constituencies of the validity of their vision. Juxtaposing stories about efforts to construct Chicago's electric future, Planning as Persuasive Storytelling suggests a shift in how we think about planning. In order to account for the fragmented and conflicted nature of contemporary American life and politics, that shift would be away from "science" and the "experts" and toward rhetoric and storytelling.

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Sacred Assemblies and Civic Engagement
How Religion Matters for America's Newest Immigrants
Numrich, Paul D
Rutgers University Press, 2007

Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of America’s history. Currently, about 40 percent of the nation’s annual population growth comes from the influx of foreign-born individuals and their children. As these new voices enter America’s public conversations, they bring with them a new understanding of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity to a society that has been marked by religious variety.

Sacred Assemblies and Civic Engagement takes an in-depth look at one particular urban area—the Chicago metropolitan region—and examines how religion affects the civic engagement of the nation’s newest residents. Chapters focus on important religious factors, including sectarianism, moral authority, and moral projects; on several areas of social life, including economics, education, marriage, and language, where religion impacts civic engagement; and on how notions of citizenship and community are influenced by sacred assemblies.


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