Much of what defined America as it grew into a superpower was produced in Chicago. Before air travel overtook trains, nearly every coast-to-coast journey included a stop there, and this flow of people and commodities made it America's central clearinghouse, laboratory, and factory. Between the end of World War II and 1960, Mies van der Rohe's glass and steel architecture became the face of corporate America, Ray Kroc's McDonald's changed how people eat, and the Chess brothers supercharged rock and roll with Chuck Berry. Here, Thomas Dyja re-creates the story of the city in its postwar prime and explains its profound impact on modern America.
Thomas Dyja is the author of the award-winning novel "Play for a Kingdom", among others. He has worked as an editor, book packager, and bookseller. He lives in New York with his wife and two children.