What made Chicago the great and powerful city that it is today? Carl Sandburg famously described it as “hog butcher for the world, tool maker, stacker of wheat, player with railroads and the nation’s freight handler; stormy, husky brawler, city of the big shoulders.” William Cronon, in his book Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West(W.W. Norton & Co., 1991), writes about how Chicago grew from a small frontier settlement in the 1830s to a major city of over a million people that hosted a world’s fair by the end of the 19thcentury. He explains how Chicago’s geographic location contributed to the building of the railroads, development of the west, changing where Americans ate, and what they ate, the storage and transportation of grain, mail-order retail sales, what they wore, and other major changes that affected not only America but the world. This fascinating book is part history, part sociology, part economics, and part geography. So join us as we explore the history and growth of Chicago in a new way.