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Metropolis of the Mid-Continent, 4th Edition

Irving Cutler

Narrated by Steve Ember

Available from Audible

Book published by Southern Illinois University Press

Chicago: Metropolis of the Mid-Continent provides a comprehensive portrayal of the growth and development of Chicago from the mudhole of the prairie to today’s world-class city. This completely revised fourth edition skillfully weaves together the geography, history, economy, and culture of the city and its suburbs with a special emphasis on the role of the many ethnic and racial groups that comprise the “ real Chicago” of its neighborhoods. Cutler demonstrates how the geography of “ Chicagoland” and the influx of a diverse population spurred transportation, industrial technology, the economy, and sporadic planning to foster rapid urban growth, which brought both great progress and severe problems.

Through insightful analysis, Cutler also traces the demographic and societal changes to Chicago, critically examining such problems as the environment, education, racial tension, crime, welfare, housing, employment, and transportation. Richly illustrated with nearly three hundred drawings, photos, maps, and tables, the volume includes six appendices with sections dedicated to Chicago facts, population growth and income data, weather and climate, significant dates, and historic sites.

Irving Cutler is a professor emeritus of geography at Chicago State University. He has published several books and numerous articles on Chicago, including the award-winning The Jews of Chicago: From Shtetl to Suburb. He serves on the board of directors of several historical and geographic societies, including the Chicago Jewish Historical Society, of which he was a founder, and the Geographic Society of Chicago, of which he was the president. He has spent more than twenty years giving lectures and leading tours addressing the sociological, historical, geographical, economic, and architectural features of Chicago.


“Far and away the best brief historical and geographical introduction to the development of the Chicago area.”

—Walter J. Kelly, Metro Chicago Council for Social Studies

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University Press Audiobooks