Richard Fizdale’s 999: A History of Chicago in Ten Stories is a finely interwoven composite of Chicago during one of the most explosive moments in its history. Fizdale and Paul Durica, editor of Chicago by Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America and creator of Pocket Guide to Hell Tours, will discuss Fizdale’s new book, during this meet-the-author event at the Newberry.
The posh residential building of 999 North Lake Shore Drive opened in 1913, in a neighborhood riven by competing interests. Differences were material, such as those between property owners and squatters; and philosophical, such as those between establishment figures and the anarchists stumping in nearby Bughouse Square (across from the Newberry).
The building itself harbored a cast of characters that together form a microcosm of the first half of the twentieth century: there’s the gangster who left his jail cell at night to visit his faux wife; the Army officer who chased Pancho Villa across the Rio Grande in his Cadillac touring car; the Rockefeller heiress who married a ghost; the man who saved 60 Jewish children from the Nazis; the couple who turned a broken-down Colorado town into Aspen; and the man who helped win World War II with a welding machine.
Rick Kogan, author and journalist, describes 999: A History of Chicago in Ten Stories as “a terrific and fascinating book.” Chicago Book Review.com has declared that the book “[d]emonstrat[es] great storytelling flair,” and is “unafraid to poke fun at the past century and a half’s wackiest Lake Shore Drive residents.” It is a “book packed with historical images, painstakingly researched detail, and rollicking writing.”
Paul Durica will moderate a discussion with the author.
Free and open to the public; no registration required.