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Local Book Notes: The In$ane Chicago Way

"The In$ane Chicago Way is the untold story of a daring plan by Chicago gangs in the 1990s to create a Spanish Mafia - and why it failed.

"John M. Hagedorn traces how Chicago Latino gang leaders, following in Al Capone's footsteps, built a sophisticated organization dedicated to organizing crime and reducing violence. His lively stories of extensive cross-neighborhood gang organization, tales of police/gang corruption, and discovery of covert gang connections to Chicago's Mafia challenge conventional wisdom and offer lessons for the control of violence today."


This sounds like an important and fascinating book. Note: The final chapter is called The Future of Gangs in Chicago.


From Hagedorn's Wikipedia page:

"Hagedorn dropped out of college in 1967 to work full time in the civil rights and then anti-war movements. He was doing community organizing in Milwaukee in 1981 when he observed gangs forming. He ran the city's first gang diversion program and returned to school, getting his BS in 1985 and his MA in 1987. He studied under Joan Moore and received a PhD in 1993.

"Hagedorn's first book, People & Folks, argued for more jobs than jails and applied William Julius Wilson's underclass theory to gangs. He was the architect of a neighborhood-based, family-centered social service reform that became the subject of his dissertation, published as Forsaking Our Children.

"With a crew of former gang members he conducted a multi year re-study of Milwaukee gangs, which led to a second edition of People & Folks. In the first edition, Hagedorn predicted that if jobs were not created Milwaukee's gangs would entrench in the illegal economy. This prediction, unfortunately, was supported by his subsequent research."


Hagedorn has been at UIC since 1996.


Chicago Penny Farthing
"Pick up Bats of the Republic and - even before you start reading - you're instantly transfixed. The author, Zachary Thomas Dodson, is a book designer who co-founded Featherproof Books out of Chicago, and his debut novel is a glorious demonstration of what old-fashioned paper can still do in the hands of a creative genius," Donohue writes for the Washington Post.

"Stuffed into this illuminated novel are books within books, including a facsimile of a 19th-century novel, complete with tissue-covered plates and a wormhole piercing every page. The dust jacket has two sides, the lining printed in reverse. The whole steampunk apparatus is chockablock with fold-out maps, torn telegrams, bits of newspaper articles, drawings of bats and other real and imagined creatures, diagrams of steammoats and other inventions, and most fun of all, an actual envelope with the cryptic instruction: 'Do Not Open.' (Resist!) These beautifully designed elements not only add depth and detail to the story, but they also instruct the reader on how to move through the book."

But does he ride a penny farthing bike?


My guess: Yes.


Also, that can't be his real name.




Coke Screen
"You may think you have come to like soda all on your own. But that desire is the product of decades worth of focused and often troubling efforts on behalf of the soda industry," Roberto Ferdman writes for the Washington Post.

"This is, in so many words, one of the takeaways from a new book about how the industry has paid, lobbied and hypnotized its way into the hearts of people around the world. The book, called Soda Politics, is written by esteemed New York University professor and long-time food industry activist Marion Nestle. And it will leave a sour taste in anyone's mouth."


Mercola is bullshit, but this is still an interesting interview, especially given the recent debate about enacting a soda tax in Chicago; see why you might view efforts like this in a different light. Also, naive reporters.


Previously from Nestle: Food Politics.


Comments welcome.


Posted on October 7, 2015

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POLITICS - Trump's Most Amusing Pardon.
SPORTS - Hammerin' Hank, Kris Bryant Beefs, Bears' Rags.

BOOKS - Being Sure About George Ryan.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Recall! Sriracha Chicken Ravioli.

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