Murder City: The Bloody History of Chicago in the Twenties

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9780393330595: Murder City: The Bloody History of Chicago in the Twenties
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Michael Lesy’s disturbingly satisfying account of Chicago in the 1920s―the epicenter of murder in America―could be fiction, but it’s not.

“Things began as they usually did: Someone shot someone else.” So begins a chapter of this sharp, fearless collection from a master storyteller. Revisiting seventeen Chicago murder cases―including that of Belva and Beulah, two murderesses whose trials inspired the musical Chicago―Michael Lesy captures an extraordinary moment in American history, bringing to life a city where newspapers scrambled to cover the latest mayhem. Just as Lesy’s book Wisconsin Death Trip subverted the accepted notion of the Gay Nineties, so Murder City exposes the tragedy of the Jazz Age and the tortured individuals who may be the progenitors of our modern age.

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About the Author:

Michael Lesy is one of America’s leading photographic scholars. His books include Wisconsin Death Trip, Murder City, Angel’s World, and Long Time Coming. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he teaches literary journalism at Hampshire College.

Review:

A chilling portrait. -- The Tribune, UK

A magnificent read. -- Dayton Daily News

Gripping and horrifying. -- Chicago Tribune

Lean and stark. -- City Pages, Minneapolis

Pungent...insistent...fervid. -- Popmatters.com

Startling...riveting...with a superlative array of photos. -- Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin

[Has] the archaic strangeness of myth. -- The Atlantic

[V]ivid, laconic, crisp[....]The bodies fall like dominoes, and every word sounds like it was shot from a gun. -- Luc Sante, author of Low Life

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