From a frontier outpost of 400 people in 1833 to a century later, Chicago became a thriving metropolis of 3.4 million people. Risk-taking entrepreneurs developed the infrastructure, and immigrants did the back-breaking work of building a city that became the Midwestern hub of the nation. In addition to these two essential groups, there was another category of residents: the people who built the organized crime networks. In Al Capone’s Beer Wars: A Complete History of Organized Crime in Chicago During Prohibition (Prometheus Books, 2017), John Binder, Associate Professor Emeritus at UIC, focuses on the Prohibition era, but also includes Chicago’s frontier history and its criminal gangs. The author explores the relationships between crooks, corrupt politicians, and the police. He delineates how the complexity of these associations led to the emergence of vice, gambling and corruption in Chicago that resulted in the vice wars of the Prohibition era. Please join us for what will surely be lively discussions about this fascinating era. Note: This study group meets for ten weeks, starting 03/15/18 and ending on 05/17/18.