By Michael Lesy
Michael Lesy’s disturbingly pleasurable account of Chicago within the 1920s—the epicenter of homicide in America—could be fiction, yet it’s not.
“Things started as and so they did: an individual shot anyone else.” So starts a bankruptcy of this sharp, fearless assortment from a grasp storyteller. Revisiting seventeen Chicago homicide cases—including that of Belva and Beulah, murderesses whose trials encouraged the musical Chicago—Michael Lesy captures a rare second in American historical past, bringing to lifestyles a urban the place newspapers scrambled to hide the most recent mayhem. simply as Lesy’s booklet Wisconsin demise Trip subverted the accredited inspiration of the homosexual Nineties, so Murder City exposes the tragedy of the Jazz Age and the tortured people who could be the progenitors of our smooth age.
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Extra resources for Murder City: The Bloody History of Chicago in the Twenties
Are you getting dizzy, Sam? Well, let's stop and sort of check up, and shake our heads, and clarify this thing in our minds. We have been used to making [begin page 55] pretty big money at 10 to 50 percent on goods we have been selling for thirty years; but never anything like this ever happened to us before. S. Bonds. $200,000 We have cash in vault. 32,000 We have Bank Reserves. 200,000 Total. $432,000 Liabilities Demand Deposits. Net Assets. 32,000 $400,000 Of course we have overlooked the $100,000 surplus, but that would just confuse us a little, and it does not amount to much anyway; so we will just let it alone.
Civilization is an organic body, composed of millions of cells (each a human being), just as the body of a man is composed of millions of cells. Just as the cells of the human body are held together by a centripetal energy, the law of cohesion, so are the cells of the body of civilization, society, held together by a centripetal energy, adhesion, a more flexible law than the law of cohesion. And, just as a cell of the human body, failing to receive constantly an adequate supply of the proper food, failing to receive the constant renewing of its cells by the bath of lifesustaining food, diluted in the bloodstream, dies and weakens that portion of the human body; so with the cells of civilization, society, when they fail to get their required bath of life.
The bloodstream must carry the proper food in the proper amount to every cell of the body; and, Second. The bloodstream must carry away worn out and/or unneeded particles of food and of the body. To carry this simile further: while money is the lifeblood of civilization, the banking system is the arteries and veins of the body of civilization through which this lifeblood flows. The two functions of banking — the keeping of the people's money on deposit together with the cashing and clearing of their cheques, and the lending of money, fit nicely into the figure of speech.
Murder City: The Bloody History of Chicago in the Twenties by Michael Lesy