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Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief

The Great Chicago Fire, the Haymarket Bomb, and the Model Town of Pullman, Second Edition

With a new Foreword by the Author.

Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief

The Great Chicago Fire, the Haymarket Bomb, and the Model Town of Pullman, Second Edition

With a new Foreword by the Author.
The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the Haymarket bombing of 1886, and the making and unmaking of the model town of Pullman—these remarkable events in what many considered the quintessential American city forced people across the country to confront the disorder that seemed inevitably to accompany urban growth and social change.

In Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief, Carl Smith explores the imaginative dimensions of these events as he traces the evolution of interconnected beliefs and actions that increasingly linked city, disorder, and social reality in the minds of Americans. Examining a remarkable range of writings and illustrations, as well as protests, public gatherings, trials, hearings, and urban reform and construction efforts, Smith argues that these three events—and the public awareness of them—not only informed one another, but collectively shaped how Americans understood, and continue to understand, Chicago and modern urban life.

This classic of urban cultural history is updated with a foreword by the author that expands our understanding of urban disorder to encompass such recent examples as Hurricane Katrina, the Oklahoma City Bombing, and 9/11.

 “Cultural history at its finest.  By utilizing questions and methodologies of urban studies, social history, and literary history, Smith creates a sophisticated account of changing visions of urban America.”—Robin F. Bachin, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

407 pages | 40 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2007

Chicago and Illinois

History: American History, Urban History

Literature and Literary Criticism: American and Canadian Literature

Political Science: Urban Politics

Reviews

“Cultural history at its finest. By utilizing questions and methodologies of urban studies, social history, and literary history, Smith creates a sophisticated account of changing visions of urban America.”

Robin F. Bachin | Journal of Interdisciplinary History

“This deeply researched, subtle and complex book seeks to comprehend the significance of three events of signal importance in the development of the American urban landscape.”

Douglas Greenberg | Chicago Tribune

“What ultimately distinguishes this book is the coherence, grace, and clarity of Smith’s interpretations and the beauty of his writing.”

John J. Pauly | Journal of American History

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
 
Part One
Fire
     The Great Conflagration
     Trial by Fire
     Social Restraint  
     The Fire and Cultural Memory
 
Part Two
Bomb
     From Resurrection to Insurrection
     Plots and Counterplots
     Words on Trial
 
Part Three
Strike
     Taming the Urban Beast 
     Putting Pullman in Its Place: The Search for a New Urban Order 
     Making Sense of the Age 

Epilogue 
Notes 
Index

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