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Along the Divide: Photographs of the Dan Ryan Expressway (Center Books on Chicago and Environs) Hardcover – October 15, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1930066281 ISBN-10: 1930066287 Edition: 2nd
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this startling, strong, poignant book, the Dan Ryan is a metaphor for Chicago, a place where, every hour, thousands upon thousands gather, each in isolation. And, yet also, in the midst of a hard-to-take-in beauty."—Chicago Tribune
(Chicago Tribune 2004-12-12)

About the Author

Jay Wolke is professor and chair of the department of art and design at Columbia College Chicago, and the author of All Around the House: Photographs of American-Jewish Communal Life. Dominic A. Pacyga is a professor at Columbia College Chicago, and the author and editor of numerous books on Chicago's history, including Polish Immigrants and Industrial Chicago and Chicago, both published by the University of Chicago Press.
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Product Details

  • Series: Center Books on Chicago and Environs
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Center for American Places; 2nd edition (October 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1930066287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1930066281
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 0.5 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,225,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on November 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Jay Wolke says in his short introduction that he took thousands of photos, between 1981 and 1985, of this serpent like highway and there is a stunning one on page thirty-three which sums up the book for me. Taken in 1982 at Exit 57B it shows downtown in the middle distance and the Dan Ryan pointing to it like an arrow. The massive width of the four inner express and three outer distributor lanes plus the Red Line CTA railway sandwiched in the middle really comes across and it's easy to appreciate how this huge construction project cut South Side Chicago in half for almost twelve miles.

Other beautifully composed photos capture the highway and the surrounding environment, bridges, on and off ramps, scrap yards, the extensive human activity beneath the elevated sections. A nice touch, I thought, were several showing the Dan Ryan from windows of buildings along the route. Of the sixty (mostly landscape) photos there are several that I thought didn't quite work though. These are close-ups of moving vehicles and could have been taken on any city expressway. As well as a visual journey along the concrete there is an interesting fifteen page essay by Dominic Pacyga about the planning, building and current status of Dan Ryan.

The book's production is the classic photo book style: generous wide margins and well printed in a fine screen on matt paper. There is the usual annoyance of having all the one line captions at the back rather than under each photo and there is a rather inadequate small map of the route on a page facing the captions. This, I think, would have worked so much better it was over a spread with small thumbnails of each photo arrowed into it.

Along the Divide came across as an almost but not quite book for me.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anthony R. Vizzari on July 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is not be overlooked. It is a must have for photographers, collectors, and anyone who wants a look into the bowels of a divided Chicago. A spectacular photobook...
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Along the Divide: Photographs of the Dan Ryan Expressway (Center Books on Chicago and Environs)
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