Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief: The Great Chicago Fire, the Haymarket Bomb, and the Model Town of Pullman
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Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief: The Great Chicago Fire, the Haymarket Bomb, and the Model Town of Pullman

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  31 ratings  ·  5 reviews
The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, the Haymarket bombing of 1886, and the making and unmaking of the model town of Pullman—these remarkable events in what many considered the quintessential American city forced people across the country to confront the disorder that seemed inevitably to accompany urban growth and social change.

In Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief, Carl S...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 407 pages
Published November 15th 2007 by University Of Chicago Press (first published January 15th 1995)
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Aug 03, 2010 Mike rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anarchists, incendiaries, socialists
In Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief: The Great Chicago Fire, the Haymarket Bomb, and the Model Town of Pullman the three items mentioned in the title — the first two acute events, assaults on order, and the latter more durable, an attempt at planning order by executive fiat — are examined as articles of faith by which the U.S. industrial city of the late nineteenth century, home of immigrants and labor, was understood.

Immediately after the Chicago Fire people from all walks of life found t...more
Using three 'events' in Chicago's history, Professor Smith shows how the media (press and oratory) affected views of those occurrences. All three events happened in the late 1800s as the country saw increased industrialization and immigration. The monied-class controlled the means of production, the media, and the government. The responses to these events heavily favored the propertied class and disparaged attempts by laborers to better their working conditions. Perhaps most interesting is compa...more
Oct 14, 2013 Wes rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: chicago
Someday I'll find a University Press book that isn't oppressively dry. This isn't that book.

I picked this up looking for more information on the Haymarket Riot, and received bonus information of the great Fire and the Pullman Strike as well. And while the writing is dense (and dry,) I've come away knowing more about late 1800's Chicago (and the US as well,) as a whole.

Current events make the central themes of the book, (the conflicts in society caused by class and economic divisions, combined wi...more

Really well written and engaging. It was dense but well constructed, he had really strong use of primary source material. I would have liked to see a little more tie in of the three events where possible and more consistent analysis of the themes of foreigners and the definition of manhood. Really enjoyed reading this book.
I actually quite enjoyed reading this book. It gives history but with an interesting perspective. I'd recommend this to anyone who is interested in human perspective, history, or the way people interact with one another.
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