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A Century of Urban Life: The Norwegians in Chicago Before 1930 1St Edition Edition

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0877320753
ISBN-10: 0877320756
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This book examines the Norwegian urban experience in Chicago. A Norwegian colony took root in the frontier setting of Chicago of the 1830s and grew with and adjusted to shifting demands and circumstances; in time it became the third largest "Norwegian city" in the world.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1St Edition edition (July 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877320756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877320753
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,504,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Isaksen Mansfield on October 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent resource especially if you had Norwegian relatives in Chicago during this time. The book covers information about different Norwegian neighborhoods, including maps, pictures, and information about churches, and social clubs. I used this book to research more about my geneology. Very interesting historical information.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Borowy26 VINE VOICE on April 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a useful study guide for one of Chicago's most important and least studied ethnic groups. Although Norwegian immigrants are the intended study group, since the Danes and the Swedes tended to reside in close proximity to other Scandinavians in Chicago, the author relates their stories as well as those of the Norwegians.

By way of explanation and to be accurate, over the centuries, all of three countries were united at various times, and Sweden and Norway were a single kingdom until 1905. After obtaining independence from Sweden in a peaceable manner, a Danish prince was chosen to become the king of the newly established kingdom of Norway. With these facts in mind, any the overlap in the text is understandable and unavoidable.

Some of the Chicago neighborhoods that once had substantial Norwegian and Scandinavian populations included Wicker Park and Humboldt Park, as well as suburbs such as Oak Park. Apart from some impressive residences, public monuments such as the Leif Ericson statue in Humboldt Park or the Norwegian American Hospital, which is immediately South of the same park, there are few reminders of the Norwegians to be found in contemporary Chicago.

The decision to terminate the study in 1930 was not entirely arbitrary. As the author observed, succeeding generations of Norwegians moved away from the city and into the outlying neighborhoods and suburbs after attaining a degree of prosperity. Their children largely assimilated into the American middle class and became less and less distinguishable as ethnics.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Odd Lovoll is one of the major writers on Norwegian immigration. This volume details and describes life in Chicago when it was the major city for Norwegian immigrants. Good reading.
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