Big Bill of Chicago

Overview


Winner of 2006 Illinois State Historical Society Book Award-Certificate of Excellence

To some he was a humanitarian and builder. Others scorned him as a fake and friend of gangsters with "the carcass of a rhinoceros and the brain of a baboon." This rollicking history traces the rise of William Hale "Big Bill" Thompson, Chicago's famous reform mayor, from his upper class roots to his years as a teenaged cowboy, from his fame as a star athlete to the years as a master politician ...

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Overview


Winner of 2006 Illinois State Historical Society Book Award-Certificate of Excellence

To some he was a humanitarian and builder. Others scorned him as a fake and friend of gangsters with "the carcass of a rhinoceros and the brain of a baboon." This rollicking history traces the rise of William Hale "Big Bill" Thompson, Chicago's famous reform mayor, from his upper class roots to his years as a teenaged cowboy, from his fame as a star athlete to the years as a master politician in a world where the ward boss ruled and whiskey for the voters cost a quarter a shot. Big Bill of Chicago profiles the whole brawling arena of city politics from the turn of the century to the Prohibition Era. It is a primer in the way American politics worked-and works-and a map along the countless winding ways even the dirtiest deal can lead to something great.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810123199
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 11/29/2005
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 370
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Lloyd Wendt was a long-time Chicago journalist and the author of Chicago Tribune: The Rise of a Great American Newspaper (Rand McNally, 1979), and (with Herman Kogan) Give the Lady What She Wants: The Story of Marshall Field & Company (And Books, 1979).

Herman Kogan (1914-1989) spent fifty years covering Chicago, many with the Chicago Sun-Times. He is the author of Yesterday's Chicago (E.A. Seemann, 1976) and (with Lloyd Wendt) Give the Lady What She Wants: The Story of Marshall Field & Company (And Books, 1979).

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Table of Contents

Part I The Education
Chapter 1 A Noisy, High-Spirited Boy 11
Chapter 2 Cowboy Bill 20
Chapter 3 An Athlete Clean and Pure 28
Chapter 4 In the Gray Wolves' Lair 34
Chapter 5 The "Blond Boss" 46
Chapter 6 Seventy-nine Ballots and Twenty-two Days 54
Chapter 7 A Man to Go Places 66
Chapter 8 Enter the "Poor Swede" 80
Chapter 9 "Bill Thompson Is the Man for Me!" 89
Chapter 10 Mayor Big Bill 100
Part II The Reign
Chapter 11 Reformer and Rascal 119
Chapter 12 "Liars! Hypocrites! Fourflushers! Bunk! Bunk! Bunk!" 136
Chapter 13 Kaiser Bill 149
Chapter 14 A Remarkable Victory 161
Chapter 15 Cream Cheese vs. Limburger 172
Chapter 16 The Big Triumph 181
Chapter 17 Wrong Guesses 191
Chapter 18 Scandal-and More Scandal 206
Chapter 19 No Longer a Trilby 222
Chapter 20 Al Capone Moves In 233
Chapter 21 Down with King George! 243
Chapter 22 America First and America's Thirst 252
Chapter 23 "Throw Away Your Hammer and Get a Horn!" 271
Chapter 24 The Trial of William McAndrew 284
Chapter 25 Thompson's "Jonah Years" 303
Chapter 26 The Beginning of the End 318
Part III The Last Years
Chapter 27 No Friends, No Foes 337
Chapter 28 End-and Epilogue 348
Bibliography 365
Index 373
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