Chicago's great fire : the destruction and resurrection of an iconic American city / Carl Smith
Book | Atlantic Monthly Press | 2020 | First edition.

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Details

Edition
First edition.
First Grove Atlantic hardcover edition.
Description
xvi, 374 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages [309]-353) and index.
Contents
"Kate! The barn is afire!" -- "To depress her rising consequence would be like an attempt to quench the stars" -- "A regular nest of fire" : the West Division -- "It was nothing but excitement" : the South division -- "I gave up all hopes of being able to save much of anything" : the North Division -- Endgame -- "Pray for me" -- "Chicago shall rise again" -- Controversy and control -- "More strength and greater hope" : getting going -- The triumph of the fire-proof ticket -- Who started the great Chicago fire? -- The limits of limits -- New Chicago -- City on fire -- Celebrating destruction.
Summary
"Between October 8-10, 1871, much of the city of Chicago was destroyed by one of the most legendary urban fires in history. Incorporated as a city in 1837, Chicago had grown at a breathtaking pace in barely three decades, from just over 4,000 in 1840 to greater than 330,000 at the time of the fire. Built hastily, the city was largely made of wood. Once it began in the barn of Catherine and Patrick O'Leary, the fire quickly grew out of control, twice jumping branches of the Chicago River on its relentless northeastward path through the city's three divisions. Close to one of every three Chicago residents was left homeless and more were instantly unemployed, though the death toll was miraculously low. Remarkably, no carefully researched popular history of the Great Chicago Fire has been written until now, despite it being one of the most cataclysmic disasters in US history. Building the story around memorable characters, both known to history and unknown, including the likes of General Philip Sheridan and Robert Todd Lincoln, eminent Chicago historian Carl Smith chronicles the city's rapid growth and place in America's post-Civil War expansion. The dramatic story of the fire-revealing human nature in all its guises-became one of equally remarkable renewal, as Chicago quickly rose back up from the ashes thanks to local determination and the world's generosity and faith in Chicago's future. As we approach the fire's 150th anniversary, Carl Smith's compelling narrative at last gives this epic event its full and proper place in our national chronicle"-- Provided by publisher.
Incorporated as a city in 1837, Chicago had grown at a breathtaking pace in barely three decades, from just over 4,000 in 1840 to greater than 330,000 at the time of the fire. Built hastily, the city was largely made of wood. Once it began the fire quickly grew out of control, twice jumping branches of the Chicago River on its relentless northeastward path through the city's three divisions. Between October 8-10, 1871 close to one of every three Chicago residents was left homeless and more were instantly unemployed, though the death toll was miraculously low. Smith chronicles the city's rapid growth, the fire, and the way Chicago rose back up from the ashes thanks to local determination and the world's generosity and faith in Chicago's future. -- adapted from jacket
Subject
Chronological Term
Genre/Form
Added Title
Destruction and resurrection of an iconic American City
ISBN
9780802148100 (hardcover)
0802148107 (hardcover)
9780802148117 (ebook)
Extras
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