The background story to these photos is very interesting and was one of the reasons I bought this book. The trouble is, there is next to no flesh added to the bare bones of the story.
When I see old photos, of any sort whatsoever, I want to see the date (preferably month/year), location and, where appropriate, some commentary. Ideally, the latter would be by the photographer but of course we know that to be impossible in this case. The same limitation applies to the dating, unfortunately, as presumably the negatives were not filed with any reference to dates taken or processed.
So, we are left with a selection of photographs which float in both space and time, unless the reader/viewer has an intimate knowledge of Chicago or New York. Even if an informed critique/commentary (not necessarily on every single picture) had been put in a separate section, it would have significantly improved this book and engaged the prospective reader accordingly.