Since I was visiting Chicago last month, I decided to immerse myself in some of its history, and this is what I had on my bookshelf that I hadn't readSince I was visiting Chicago last month, I decided to immerse myself in some of its history, and this is what I had on my bookshelf that I hadn't read yet (I read The Girls of Murder City, the true stories that the musical Chicago is based on, a few years ago, and highly recommend it). It was an interesting snapshot of the social change really beginning to take place during this time period, the passing of one age into another, and the social anxiety that inevitably comes with that type of upheaval. It was also a charming look into the lives of two very interesting, and unorthodox, ladies. Plus, it dovetailed nicely with the gangster tour we took while in Chicago (Untouchable Gangster Tours, which I also recommend) as some of the same characters made appearances in both the book and the tour (Big Jim Colosimo, Johnny Torrio, Hinky Dink Kenna, Bathhouse John Coughlin, and even Al Capone). Vice, politics, corruption, gangsters, white slavery, sex trafficking, moral reform - when it comes to history, I'd far rather read about societal warfare than actual warfare. The writing could have been more compelling and the structure could have been more cohesive, but on the whole I found it to be entertaining & enlightening!...more
I really wish the editor had added illustrations and photos to this printing. There are so many antiquated and/or foreign boats, carriages, etc. mentiI really wish the editor had added illustrations and photos to this printing. There are so many antiquated and/or foreign boats, carriages, etc. mentioned that it would be greatly beneficial to have pictures (rather than having to put the book down every half page and google something). As it is an around-the-world travel account from the turn of the last century, it would have been all the more engrossing to have map depictions of her path and the places she stopped along the way, photographs of cultural dress and countrysides, vehicular illustrations, etc. to go along with Miss Bly's descriptions. The time and geographical gap makes it difficult to picture everything, but it would be a very rich account with the addition of visual aids; Miss Bly says herself in the book that her biggest regret was not purchasing a Kodak to take with her on the trip. Her writing alternates from nonlinear and difficult to follow accounts to absolutely beautiful prose. There is certainly language that makes the modern, PC-minded reader cringe, but we have to bear in mind the time period in which this was written, and I felt that Miss Bly's candid observations were rarely ethnocentric. If nothing else, it's worth reading the last two (short) chapters, 'Across the Continent' and 'The Record' which detail her whirlwind train trip across the continent, and the wonderful way that the country showed out to congratulate and cheer her on, and all of the records that she broke, the miles that she travelled, etc.
I'm checking off the following for the this book: -A book with a number in the title -A book by a female author -A nonfiction book -A book from an author you love that you haven't read yet -A book more than 100 years old...more
It was great reading the primary source since I'm a big fan of Nellie Bly, but the compilation left much to be desired. Some minor typographical fixesIt was great reading the primary source since I'm a big fan of Nellie Bly, but the compilation left much to be desired. Some minor typographical fixes and the addition of some illustrations, maps, and a glossary would make this a much more accessible and enjoyable resource....more
We were very fortunate to have the author, Jennifer J. Popiel, lecture/q&a for our class, Love and Marriage in Eighteenth-Century Portraiture - itWe were very fortunate to have the author, Jennifer J. Popiel, lecture/q&a for our class, Love and Marriage in Eighteenth-Century Portraiture - it was a wonderful experience! I'm very interested to see the results of her latest research, which we got a sneak preview of in class!...more