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Battleground Chicago: The Police and the 1968 Democratic National Convention Hardcover – September 30, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0275981389 ISBN-10: 027598138X

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (September 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 027598138X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275981389
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,275,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Michael Kazin, co-author of America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s: Frank Kusch's compelling account of the clash between Mayor Richard Daley's men in blue and anti-war rebels reveals why the 1960s was such a painful era for many Americans. Chicago, he shows, was the angry heart of a nation riddled with hatreds rooted in class, race, and cultural values. Other historians have sympathetically explored the motives and actions of young protestors. Kusch, to his great credit, allows "the pigs" to speak up for themselves."

Book Description

Challenges the prevalent stereotypes surrounding the police during the 1968 Chicago riots by examining them as real men and presenting events from their perspective.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dean Blobaum on September 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Why all the violence at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago? The official government inquiry said it was a "police riot"--individually and collectively, the Chicago police lost their professional control and engaged in mob violence. True? Or were the cops just following orders? Or were they provoked into a violent reaction by physical and verbal violence from the antiwar activists and agitators?

Kusch interviewed dozens of retired Chicago police officers who were on the streets and in the parks of Chicago back in August of 1968. He tries to understand their thinking and emotions, tries to untangle their motivations and reactions. Ultimately he gives a well-argued, complex answer to that persistent question: why the violence?

Kusch's narrative of the events of that week in August is too brief for this to serve as your only source for information about Chicago '68--read the books by David Farber and John Schultz, too--but there is no more thorough examination available of the role of the police in the street battles that marked that most remarkable of political conventions.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bill Simmons on September 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Frank Kusch takes the reader on a blow-by-blow account of the violence between protesters and the police during the summer of 1968 in Chicago. Instead of the usual view from the anti-war movment, Kusch presents the events fromm the point of view of the cops and offers a more balanced view of that summer than anyone else. The author's account is convincing because the hyperbole is gone and the gritty facts remain. While the police are not always portrayed as angels, they come off as real men facing a possible inserection, not unthinking henchmen in blue. Battleground Chicago is a great read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Lawton on October 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is not your typical history book; lots of action, violence, swearing--in other words, real life as it was in the 1960s. Kusch writes that the police did not riot or lose control of themselves, which sounds like a stretch, until he convincingly deonstrates his argument with varied evidence and skilled articulation. It's a little slow in the begining but catches fire once the author gets into the street battles that marked the '68 convention. A tad pricey but a good look at 1968 and the police who made headlines.
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