To the editors:

Chicagoans of the early 1950s did not really need an “outsider” like A.J. Liebling to tell them that their city’s economic and cultural institutions were in decline [“Why They Call It the Second City,” July 30]. In 1951 Nelson Algren (praised by Liebling as one of the few great Chicago writers left) said much the same thing in his landmark prose poem City on the Make. Sadly, a lot of what Algren described so eloquently 40 years ago is even more true today.

Anyone who really wants to understand what has made Chicago “tick,” for better or worse, would do well to read City on the Make. Unlike Liebling’s work, it’s still in print.


S. Cornell