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Chicago Pop Culture

Set the mood for your Chicago visit with "The Devil in the White City," Erik Larson’s nonfiction instant classic about the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 and the serial killer that preyed on its crowds. A nice follow-up is "Sin and the Second City" by Karen Abbott. Another nonfiction book that reads like a novel, it introduces readers to early-1900s Chicago and its most notorious brothel, the Everleigh Club. If you’re not into historical thrillers, pick up "One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko," by the late, great Chicago newspaper columnist. Chicago’s scenery has been backdrop to some terrific movies, of which our favorites are far and away "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" and "The Blues Brothers." "The Fugitive" and "Batman Begins" show the city’s darker side, while "High Fidelity" gets authenticity points for starring John Cusack, a Chicago-area native. Give yourself a quick intro to the music genre with which Chicago is most identified—the blues—by listening to Muddy Waters "At Newport 1960" or Howlin’ Wolf’s "Moanin' In The Moonlight." Or pay homage to the role Chicago played in the folk scene of the 1960s with John Prine’s "Sweet Revenge."
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