[UCP Books]: Chicago Business and Industry: From Fur Trade to E-Commerce

Praise for The Encyclopedia of Chicago

“In our ideal reference world, there would be an encyclopedia like this one for every great American city. The Encyclopedia of Chicago is a superb ready-reference work on Chicago, a good starting point for students doing research, and just a wonderful book to browse through.”


The Encyclopedia of Chicago is no mere collection of fun facts. It is a work of stunning scholarly achievement. . . . This is a work of depth and gravity, written largely by scholars but aimed at the intelligent regular Joe, an approach that becomes self-evident in the first ten pages.”

Chicago Sun-Times

Edited by
Janice L. Reiff


Publication date: 20 May 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0-226-70936-9

International publication date: 27 May 2013
Paper $22.50/£16.00

From its humble beginnings as a fur-trading outpost, Chicago has become one of the foremost centers of world finance and trade. With its blue-collar work ethic and an economic history that extends into virtually every segment of American industry, it certainly lives up to its moniker as the City That Works.

Drawing on the award-winning Encyclopedia of Chicago, Janice L. Reiff has compiled a unique history of work in the Windy City. Chicago Business and Industry considers how key industries shaped—and were shaped by—both the local and global economies. The city’s phenomenal population growth, its proximity to water, and its development of railroads made Chicago one of the most productive markets for lumber and grain throughout the nineteenth century. The region’s once-booming steel industry, on the other hand, suffered a dramatic decline in the second half of the twentieth century, when already weakened demand met with increasing international competition.
Reiff has compiled and updated essays from the Encyclopedia covering the city’s most historically famous—and infamous—companies, from the Union Stock Yard to Montgomery Ward to the Board of Trade. Today, Groupon and a host of other high-tech firms have led some experts to christen Chicago the Silicon Valley of the Midwest. Reiff’s new introduction takes account of these and other recent trends.
Janice L. Reiff is associate professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is available for interviews.

Please contact Melinda Kennedy at mkennedy1@press.uchicago.edu or (773) 702-2945 for more information.



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