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All That JazzThe Life and Times of the Musical Chicago$
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Ethan Mordden

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190651794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190651794.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

The City

The City

Unregulated Capitalism

(p.3) 1 The City
All That Jazz

Ethan Mordden

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks into the growth of Chicago the city to understand why Chicago the musical occupies so unusual a spot in the history of American art. It explores the ways in which Chicago the city has become the site of many myths, memes, and signifiers and how these in turn have come to affect the musical. Chicago had the reputation of the can-do city, mixing its engineering marvels with an obsessive love of commercial activity. For two generations in the middle of the nineteenth century, Chicago (and St. Louis, its at times bitter rival) marked the western edge of America’s calendar of cities, the embarkation point for continental development. Chicago thus becomes a concentration of energies.

Keywords:   Chicago, Native Americans, American art, American history, capitalism, crime, sex, engineering, urban development

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