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14 January 2003 (USA)  »

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La Marseillaise
From album "Collections of National Anthems"
Courtesy of Savoy Jazz/Denon Classics
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The labor episode...
28 March 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I enjoyed this series on Chicago, but I should point out that it only really is about the city in the 19th century. Nothing about modern Chicago (post 1900) is mentioned. Also, the focus of the shows are on the liberalizing of the city--going from a VERY pro-labor place to a city the was on the forefront of organized labor and liberal politics. This is neither good nor bad--you just need to know the aim of the shows. If you are looking for general history of the city or a discussion of the various ethnic neighborhoods, foods, traditions, etc., this is not really a show you should watch.

I called this one "The Labor Episode" because unlike part one, this one is almost exclusively about the abuses of power by the elite and the push for social reforms. This is continued in part three. Topics covered are the meat packing industry, labor problems, Pullman and his dream for a model city for his employees, anarchists and the Haymarket Riot. I think because of the show's focus it should have been named "Labor in 19th Century Chicago"--but this isn't exactly a lyrical title--though "City of the Century" says NOTHING about the show--and I was very disappointed that many wonderful things about the city were never mentioned because they didn't fall in that narrow scope. Worth seeing but I felt that something was missing...such as a feel for this terrific town.

what about NON-labor issues?


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