Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief
The Great Chicago Fire, the Haymarket Bomb, and the Model Town of Pullman, Second Edition
In Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief, Carl Smith explores the imaginative dimensions of these events as he traces the evolution of interconnected beliefs and actions that increasingly linked city, disorder, and social reality in the minds of Americans. Examining a remarkable range of writings and illustrations, as well as protests, public gatherings, trials, hearings, and urban reform and construction efforts, Smith argues that these three events—and the public awareness of them—not only informed one another, but collectively shaped how Americans understood, and continue to understand, Chicago and modern urban life.
This classic of urban cultural history is updated with a foreword by the author that expands our understanding of urban disorder to encompass such recent examples as Hurricane Katrina, the Oklahoma City Bombing, and 9/11.
“Cultural history at its finest. By utilizing questions and methodologies of urban studies, social history, and literary history, Smith creates a sophisticated account of changing visions of urban America.”—Robin F. Bachin, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
“This deeply researched, subtle and complex book seeks to comprehend the significance of three events of signal importance in the development of the American urban landscape.”
“What ultimately distinguishes this book is the coherence, grace, and clarity of Smith’s interpretations and the beauty of his writing.”