For Members Only: A History and Guide to Chicago's Oldest Private Clubs by Lisa Holton, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
For Members Only: A History and Guide to Chicago's Oldest Private Clubs

For Members Only: A History and Guide to Chicago's Oldest Private Clubs

by Lisa Holton
     
 

Providing an opportunity to see how the business, nonprofit, and political leaders of Chicago shaped the city for more than 140 years behind closed doors, this book consolidates the histories of current and former private social clubs in words, pictures, and first-person commentary. Chicago would be a very different place without the contributions made by the

Overview

Providing an opportunity to see how the business, nonprofit, and political leaders of Chicago shaped the city for more than 140 years behind closed doors, this book consolidates the histories of current and former private social clubs in words, pictures, and first-person commentary. Chicago would be a very different place without the contributions made by the members of the city’s landmark clubs—which have been oases for the rich and privileged, playgrounds for the social set, and private watering holes for the city’s movers and shakers—and this resource discusses how clubs once restricted by race, sex, and birthright, enclaves that flourished in the days of Marshall Field and Louis Sullivan, have adapted to a modern society. With chapters devoted to the city’s top clubs and a guide to current membership requirements, readers explore the past, present, and future of these elite communities.

Chicago's Private Clubs: A Rich and Unexpected History

There wouldn't be a Burnham Plan. The World's Columbian Exposition wouldn't be in our history books. Al Capone might have lived out his days with a comfortable grasp on Chicago's crime rackets. . . . The 2000 moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois might not have had the support it did, and Millennium Park might still be merely a grand idea instead of the showpiece it is today.

As Lisa Holton writes in her introduction, Chicago would be a very different place without the contributions made by the members of the city's private social clubs. Yet most of us walk past their stately facades without any idea what goes on within. Holton, a freelance writer and former business editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, reveals a fascinating history of the hidden world that has united--and divided--the city's leaders since Chicago's first days.

These clubs have been oases for the rich and privileged, playgrounds for the social set, private watering holes for the city's movers and shakers. Places that, certainly at their inception, most of us couldn't get in.

Here's your chance to enter that world, to see how the business, nonprofit, and political leaders of Chicago shaped the city for more than 140 years behind these closed doors. With chapters devoted to the city's top clubs and a guide to current membership requirements, explore the past, present, and future of these elite communities. Learn how clubs that flourished in the days of Marshall Field and Louis Sullivan, enclaves once restricted by race, sex, and birthright, have adapted to a modern society. Whether you're a prospective member or a student of Chicago history, For Members Only is the first comprehensive book consolidating the histories of these current and former landmark clubs in words, pictures, and first-person commentary.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Chicago's private clubs have always been alluringly mysterious: What does go on behind those closed doors? Now, and it's about time, Lisa Holton uses her fine reporter's skills to unlock many of the secrets, to give us an exhaustively researched, finely detailed, and enlightening look inside those bastions of money and power and influence. This is an important Chicago story."  —Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune and WGN radio

"A sweeping, 150-year history of the social habits of Chicago's leadership class, For Members Only captures neatly the spirit of ambition and status-seeking of early Chicago, where clubs offered men (and only recently, women) a way to gather with those of similar standing to relax, boost their city, and build their own stature and wealth. Lisa Holton opens the mahogany doors into a private world that up to this day will captivate—and sometimes dismay—the reader.”  —James D. Nowlan, author, Glory, Darkness, Light: A History of the Union League Club of Chicago

"A rich addition to our understanding of our city's expansion [that] informs today's discussion on the directions of its growth."  —Windy City Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781893121287
Publisher:
Lake Claremont Press
Publication date:
04/28/2008
Pages:
314
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Holton is a former business writer for the Chicago Sun-Times and currently writes about business history and other topics at her own firm, The Lisa Company. A prolific corporate writer and ghostwriter, she is the author of Are You Ready to Incorporate?, Buying a FranchiseThe Encyclopedia of Finanacial Planning, The Everything Guide to Mortgages, and Rental Property Investing.

Lisa Holton began her career as a business writer at the Chicago Sun-Times and today writes about business history and other topics at her own firm, The Lisa Company. A prolific corporate writer, ghostwriter, and author, For Members Only is her eleventh book.

Holton has written for a variety of national magazines and newspapers including Corporate Board Member, American Bar Association Journal, Parents, American Demographics, Latina, Working Mother, the Boston Globe, and the Chicago Tribune. She also writes for associations and universities worldwide.

A graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and a former national board member of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), Holton is a member of the Authors Guild, the International Association of Business Communicators, and the Society of Midland Authors.

In her spare time, Holton writes short stories and screenplays. Her feature screenplay The Plant was a quarterfinalist for the 2002 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting offered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She has attended the film program at Chicago's Columbia College and completed film production courses at Chicago Filmmakers Workshop.

A native of Moline, Illinois, Holton grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and now considers the Windy City her home. She lives in suburban Evanston.

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