An old painting of Chicago from a bird's-eye view. Lake Michigan is in the near field, and the grid runs off into the distance. The Chicago River cuts the city top to bottom. Somewhere, a child cries.
I spent two hours on Sunday trying to explain what makes this book as amazing as it is. I failed. I will try again soon. Until then, I’d just strongly advise you to go read it. It’s one of the few best books that I’ve read in the last five years. And it’s not at the top of the list only because I’ve read books like [book: The Power Broker] and [book: Common Ground] that are such landmarks. It’s definitely in the top five, though. So please, go read it.

(Current events coincidence: Cronon has been in the news lately for his investigations into the Republican legislation machine. I happened to read Cronon’s book on Krugman’s few-months-old suggestion, but otherwise this is just a coincidence.)