"Chicago: City on the Make" is the work of a first-rate poet/novelist. Algren is "sui generis" -- one of a kind! His close friend, Studs Terkel (who wrote the Introduction to the book) was instrumental in getting the book back into print -- where I hope it stays for at least a thousand years. As Studs would say, "It's a peach!"
This is the book that the Chicago Chamber of Commerce didn't want the world to see. Instead of pumping up the tourism and real estate industries with promotional-pamphlet blather, Algren's essay presents the real history and state of Chicago: the back alleys, the dispossessed, the swindlers dressed up in their Prarie Avenue finery, the kill-or-be-killed ethos of this cutthroat "trader's town." Seldom has indignation been so lyrical.