WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT THE BOOK
“Transportation buffs will swoon at the unique perspectives afforded by the transit companies’ own photographers, who had access to places the average citizen couldn’t go. And those who rode the Turtlebacks and the Green Hornets on their last trips down the tracks will enjoy seeing them once again, if only in pictures.”
“Mesmerizing. This is one of the best studies of urban transportation that has ever been published. It’s not just about Chicago transit, but about Chicago itself and about America. Here a long, lost era has been captured. The book is an adventure to look at; I couldn’t put it down. My enthusiasm is unbounded.”
“Chicago is a city on the make, according to Nelson Algren, and a city of “big shoulders,” in Carl Sandburg’s vision, but it is the streetcars, the elevated trains, and the railroads that made Chicago a bustling town.
Beginning with the first elevated train, built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, photographers diligently documented the building of the city’s tentacled rail system and the launching of its trains, depositing 200,000 negatives at the Chicago Transportation Authority.
Now Williams and company, who brought us Richard Nickel’s Chicago (2006), have retrieved 250 crisply detailed, masterfully composed, and lushly tonal black-and-white photographs to create a volume as remarkable for its aesthetics as for its transportation and urban history. The pleasures and revelations in picture and text are many, but this gorgeous tribute to the triumph of hands-to-metal engineering and construction reminds us that mass transit is essential for vibrant urban life and that, in a time of decaying infrastructure and the need to reduce automobile emissions, we must rekindle enthusiasm and secure funding for els, subways, and trains.”
“Chicago: City on the Move is a follow-up companion volume to Cahan and Williams’ critically acclaimed Richard Nickel’s Chicago: Photographs of a Lost City, released last year.
Chicago: City on the Move is another remarkable collection of previously unpublished photographs that’s both a portrait of the Chicago’s public transit lines and a time capsule of the city’s past.
Snippets of text on the city from works of writers from Theodore Dreiser to Sandra Cisneros accent the book, and the foreword is by writer Stuart Dybek, recently recognized with one of the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” grants. Chicago: City on the Move is another invaluable collection and an entertaining read.”
“It seems impossible to believe that the places pictured here ever really existed, that a city wasn’t always just a circuit board waiting for television sets to be plugged into it. City on the Move brings that reality with an intensity as vigorous as the Chicago which grows and lives through its amazing and no less artful pages.”