You Were Never In Chicago

Neil Steinberg
Not a history, not quite a memoir, You Were Never In Chicago is a highly personal rumination about what it means to be a Chicagoan...or, more precisely, what it means to be an non-Chicagoan whose job it is to chronicle the city and who's come to love it.  Steinberg is a Chicago Sun-Times columnist, born in Berea, Ohio and currently living in Northbrook.  He deftly intertwines details of Chicago's colorful past, his own arrival as a Northwestern University student in 1978, tales of his somewhat haphazard career path and profiles of fascinating Chicagoans (both well-known and obscure) he's met, profiled or written obituaries for along the way (the obituary details are especially enlightening).  Steinberg takes special pride in getting to know parts of the city most people miss (the deep-tunnel project, the Jay's potato chip plant, a paper tube manufacturer) and he writes in a colorful style that makes the book a quick, entertaining read.  If you love Chicago, you'll enjoy this book!

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