Looking Backward: True Stories from Chicago's Jewish Past
True Stories from Chicago's Jewish Past
The history of Jews in Chicago is a fascinating, complex and largely unknown story. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Walter Roth, current President of the Chicago Jewish Historical Society, much of this history is preserved in these pages. Now, for the first time in a paperback format, this material has been distilled into a single volume, chronicling events and people from the late nineteenth century to the end of World War II. Such luminaries as playwright Ben Hecht, novelist Edna Ferber, boxer "Kingfish" Levinsky, colorful social reformer Ben Reitman, and hoodlum Samuel "Nails" Morton, known popularly as "the 20th Century Golem," make their appearance here. There are lively accounts of early Jewish settlements across the city, an accurate description of various Chicago builders, movers and shakers, and realistic accounts of Zionist leaders who visited the city, and local religious and political leaders who made an impact on the Jewish culture of this thriving metropolis. Jews in the arts, culture, business, politics, gangland warfare, and the legacy of the European Holocaust on the city make this an essential read for anyone interested in Chicago history, ethnic and Jewish studies.