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City of Big ShouldersA History of Chicago$
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Robert G. Spinney

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749599

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749599.001.0001

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Glamorous and Grim

Glamorous and Grim

Chicago in the Twenty-First Century

(p.248) Chapter 13 Glamorous and Grim
City of Big Shoulders

Robert G. Spinney

Cornell University Press

This chapter talks about the best-selling author and native Chicagoan Scott Turow, who wrote “The Capital of Real Life” that characterized his hometown in Chicago in 1991. It analyzes Turow's admission that Chicago was not a sparkling, world-class city, but rather an unassuming home for average working-class people. The chapter describes the Chicago of 1991 as America's foremost second-class city that could not compete with the glamour, jive, and winning of first-class New York City and Los Angeles. It highlights how Chicago became a key player in the increasingly global economy after 25 years, frequently serving as the conduit between Chicago-based U.S. corporations and partners in Europe and Asia. It also mentions the new international stature that led to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that convened a summit in Chicago in 2012, the first U.S. city to ever host the international meeting other than Washington, D.C.

Keywords:   Chicagoan, Scott Turow, Chicago, world-class city, global economy, U.S. corporations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO

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