A fifth star on the Chicago flag?

I talked to WGN’s Nick Digilio about Mayor Lori Lightfoot suggesting that the city’s COVID-19 response would be worthy of a fifth star on the Chicago flag. You can listen to our conversation here and read the Chicago magazine story that inspired it here.

New book

My next book, Midnight in Vehicle City, will be published in February 2021 by Beacon Press. It’s the story of the 1936-37 Flint Sit Down Strike, during which a group of autoworkers occupied General Motors plants until the company recognized the United Auto Workers. It was the beginning of the modern labor movement, and, its participants said, the beginning of the modern middle class.

Chicago in the ’90s

I talked to WGN’s Nick Digilio about why the 1990s were the greatest decade in Chicago’s history. It wasn’t just because of the Bulls. Read the Chicago magazine article that sparked the conversation here, and listen to the interview here.

Rahm Emanuel: The Exit Interview

After eight years, I finally got into Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office to ask him about school closings, declining neighborhoods and the Laquan McDonald shooting. He was combative. He was defensive. He was Rahm. Read what he had to say here.

Upcoming “Folktales and Legends of the Middle West” events

July 1: The Hideout, Chicago, 5 p.m.
July 3: Tuesday Funk, Hopleaf, Chicago, 7:30 p.m.
July 5: 57th Street Books, Chicago, 6 p.m.
July 7: Everybody Reads, Lansing, Mich., 3 p.m.
July 8: Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich., 7 p.m.
July 9: Pages Bookshop, Detroit, 6 p.m.
July 11: Middleton Public Library, Middleton, Wis., 6:30 p.m.
July 14: Caestecker Public Library, Green Lake, Wis., 10 a.m.
July 14: Fond du Lac Public Library, Fond du Lac, Wis., 2 p.m.