The Chicagoan : a lost magazine of the jazz age /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Harris, Neil, 1938-
Imprint:Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2008.
Description:ix, 385 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 37 cm.
Arts -- Illinois -- Chicago -- 20th century.
Chicago (Ill.) -- Civilization.
Illinois -- Chicago.
Format: Print Book
Local Note:University of Chicago Library's copies 4 and 5 include dust jacket.
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
Other authors / contributors:Edelstein, T. J.
ISBN:0226317617 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780226317618 (cloth : alk. paper)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Review by Choice Review

Harris (emer., U. Chicago), with Edelstein (independent scholar), here presents a treasure trove of vibrantly hued covers, black-and-white interior illustrations, artistically composed photographs, reviews, and articles from a short-lived (June 1926-April 1935) magazine--The Chicagoan--which debuted a scant 16 months after its counterpart The New Yorker initially appeared. Following an analytical, annotated introductory essay, this coffee-table-sized book largely lets this little-known publication speak for itself through excerpts from its pages including a single issue in its entirety--that of July 2, 1927--at the height of the Jazz Age. As a lifestyle magazine it reflected the popular formats of its time, e.g., caricatures and cartoons of actual local personalities and representative character types. The sketches--both in drawing and in print--of the bon vivant, the upscale traveler, the shopper, and the sports enthusiast, mirrored its subscribers and readers.Intended for a high-end leisured and literate audience intent on redeeming the Second City's reputation from the unwelcome publicity of corrupt politicians and gangsters, this vehicle capitalized on Chicago's immense literary and artistic abilities. An appendix of biographical summaries representing a portion of the contributors successfully wrestles with their relative obscurity and brings them to light. Urbane, irreverent, satirical, and exuberant, The Chicagoan was largely indifferent to the Windy City's ethnic communities, although its staff included some women, Eastern Europeans, and an African American artist. Tracing changes under different managers, Harris notes that at times the magazine was indifferently edited and fact-checked, but seldom failed to engage the eye. Social and cultural scholars will find it a joy, but this primarily pictorial book, with its witty textual nuggets and stylized Art Deco illustrations, will appeal to a nonacademic audience as well. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All library collections, especially those maintaining comprehensive collections of Chicago lore and, more generally, American studies. F. J. Augustyn Jr. Library of Congress

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review