Ben Hecht's "1001 Afternoons in Chicago" | Newberry

Ben Hecht's "1001 Afternoons in Chicago"

Led by Richard Reeder. Three sessions. 5:45 - 7:45 pm
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Wednesdays, September 23 - October 7

5:45 - 7:45 pm

As a precaution to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Adult Education Seminars Program’s Fall 2020 term will continue to be held virtually. Virtual seminars meet via Zoom video conference and use email and Google Drive folders to share resources and communicate with instructors and participants. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars and these tools, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please feel free to reach out to

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Seminar Description

In 1921, Ben Hecht began writing a daily column for the Chicago Daily News. Entitled “A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago,” the column provided fictive sketches of the bustling urban landscape in Chicago at the time. A year later, 64 of these vignettes were compiled and published as a book with the same title as the column. In this seminar, we will read and discuss this book while learning about the culture and politics of Chicago in the early 1920s.

Three sessions. Registration – $170

Richard Reeder is the author of Chicago Sketches and 1001 Train Rides in Chicago. He moderates the Chicago–themed book group at the historic Cliff Dwellers Club. He also established and presently facilitates a long–running Chicago literary series devoted to Jewish authors.

Materials List


  • Ben Hecht, 1001 Afternoons in Chicago. The University of Chicago Press, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-226-32274-2.

First Reading:

  • For the first session, please read the vignettes “Fanny” through “Dapper Pete and the Sucker Play,” pages 19 -64 in the University of Chicago edition listed above.

Registration Information

Online registration opens at 9 am (CDT) on Tuesday, September 1st.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, the Adult Education Seminars staff is working remotely and will be unable to process registration over the phone. For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.