The Importance of Chicago on American History

I have been obsessed with Al Capone recently – but his story is mixed up with the history of Chicago. That has had a much bigger impact on American History that Americans realize.

Obama got his start on Chicago. And a short review of his history is in order.

He never knew his father, who was black, and from Africa. He barely knew his mother, a white woman. He was raised by his mother’s parents in Hawaii – who provided a loving home for him. He then graduated from the Harvard Law school. He was very smart, and had good people skills.

His next move was surprising – he moved to Chicago! Became a community organizer, and aligned himself with a radical black preacher. What happened next is not clear – he taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago for awhile. And went to work at a law firm – where he met his future wife – who was his supervisor for awhile! And then became a politician – a member of the Illinois Legislature, and then a US Senator. He still continued to talk like a reformer – which was a great asset to him as a politician.

He then met some Illinois bankers who wanted the banks deregulated – and they financed his successful bid for the presidency. When he became president he deregulated the banks – which led directly to the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

His operating method was simple – talk liberal, but act as a tool for the rich and powerful. The same method used by Al Capone much earlier. Act like one thing, but be something else.

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One thought on “The Importance of Chicago on American History

  1. Good evening, sir,

    As a native of Chicago it is a joy to post a comment on a subject about which I know a good deal. I was born and raised in Chicago. And I have always lived on the south side. I still do to this day. I’m about a mile from Midway Airport. I have always had an interest in the Prohibition era. My home library is full of books relating to that unique time in American history. I believe American has made many mistakes but three stand out: 1) the conquest of the Native Americans (we all sit upon stolen land), 2) slavery, and 3) the complete stupidity of Prohibition. My family has a connection to Prohibition. Google Harry Reckas murder and you will read about his demise at the hands of Gene Geary over a bootleg deal gone bad. The Reckas murder even has a place in Illinois law. Something about can a conviction be overturned if the killer goes crazy after conviction. The great Clarence Darrow referenced the case during his defense of Leopold and Loeb.

    Anyway, I have always felt that Prohibition has never gotten its due as a subject of historical study because no one wants to admit what grandpa did in the twenties. My family made money off Prohibition. . .everyone who wasn’t a moron made money off Prohibition. It’s simply reality. But as you already know, Americans can not deal with too much reality.

    Finally, since you have an interest in Mr. Capone (a fascinating man) may I recommend a few books. I have read then all. I have read Mr. Bergreen book. But by far the best biography (at least so far) is ‘Mr. Capone’ by Robert J. Schoenberg. Very well written and entertaining. Other books are ‘Capone’ by John Kobler and going way back ‘The One-Way Ride’ by Walter Noble Burns. I think you will find most and others on Amazon.

    I’ve written enough for now. I could talk about this era all night. This and the American West. Take care. I enjoy your blog.

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