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Marshall Field's: The Store that Helped Build Chicago [Kindle Edition]

Gayle Soucek
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Anyone who has waited in a Christmas line for the Walnut Room’s Great Tree can attest that Chicago’s loyalty to Marshall Field’s is fierce. Dayton-Hudson even had to take out advertising around town to apologize for changing the Field’s hallowed green bags. And with good reason—the store and those who ran it shaped the city’s streets, subsidized its culture and heralded its progress. The resulting commercial empire dictated wholesale trade terms in Calcutta and sponsored towns in North Carolina, but its essence was always Chicago. So when the Marshall Field name was retired in 2006 after the stores were purchased by Macy’s, protest slogans like “Field’s is Chicago” and “Field’s: as Chicago as it gets” weren’t just emotional hype. Many still hope that name will be resurrected like the city it helped support during the Great Fire and the Great Depression. Until then, fans of Marshall Field’s can celebrate its history with this warm look back at the beloved institution.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gayle Soucek is an author and freelance editor with several books and numerous magazine articles to her credit. She once served as managing editor for the Chicago art and entertainment biweekly Nightmoves.

Gayle is a lifelong Chicagoan and Blackhawks hockey fan. She resides in the western suburbs with her photographer husband, dogs, parrots, reptiles and one very laid-back cat. Shopping at Field's was her favorite hobby, and she relished the opportunity to revisit the great store in these pages.


Product Details

  • File Size: 4414 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (May 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1614230005
  • ISBN-13: 978-1614230007
  • ASIN: B004YXL5WG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,874 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the 1800s to Today October 28, 2010
Format:Paperback
Gayle Soucek's book, "Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago" is a wonderful book for Marshall Field's and Chicago fans, as well as anyone who wasn't fortunate enough to have experienced Chicago's international emporium, Marshall Field's. Although relatively brief, it is a full overview of Marshall Field's, from its inception with Potter Palmer in the mid-1800s through its loss to Macy's in 2006, and even up to today's efforts to bring it back to State Street.

Even if you have other books on Marshall Field's and Chicago, you will still want to buy this book. There are a number of never-before-shown photos, plus, as a bonus, a delightful section of rare Marshall Field's recipes.

Plan to buy many copies of this book for holiday season giving. I used to buy Frangos for my favorite Chicagoans and Chicago lovers; since I am boycotting Macy's until they restore Marshall Field's, I'm buying this book as a replacement gift. The book is even priced about the same as a box of Frangos and it's less fattening and much more educational!

Full disclosure: I co-organize the grassroots group of citizens wanting to bring back Field's. Gayle's book signing was held after our last rally in front of Field's.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read! Great store! Read this book. November 20, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Can one book make you long for a large box of Frango Mints, Dark great shopping bags and a visit to the Cozy Cloud Cottage? Yes, this is the book. A great read for anyone who is interested how one business can make an impact on a city...country...world! Or for that matter, anyone who loves to shop.

Did the store help build Chicago. Yes. And influence every aspect of retailing for generations.

Fields was the powerhouse in Chicago. Style. Quality. Service. This book captures it all. Plenty of pics to make you wish you could shop at Field's right now! The world came to Chicago to go to Fields. It was one Chicago's top three tourist destinations for decades.
The book also covers the Macy's take over and the fight by thousands of people around the world to bring back Marshall Fields.

Great book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book worthy of the store itself. January 25, 2011
Format:Paperback
Though the flagship store still stands on State Street with the famous `Marshall Field and Company' plaques out front, one step inside shows that the grand dame of Chicago truly is gone. But through the pages of her wonderful book, Gayle Soucek brought Marshall Field, the man himself, and his unparalleled store back to life. It is a fascinating picture of the uncompromising vision of Marshall Field and how he drove the growth of his company and, as an extension, the city of Chicago along with it. The influence of Marshall Field and his leadership team on their city, both economically and culturally, is reflected in all corners to this day and is well represented in this book. It is also an interesting read as a business book- the building of an elite service-oriented business.

On a personal note, growing up, Marshall Field's held a special place in my heart. It was my grandmother's favorite store so Christmas always meant a green Marshall Field's box under the tree. Those are wonderful memories that have stayed with me through the years and I enjoyed revisiting those days through the pages and pictures in this book.

This is a must-have for anyone interested in Chicago, the retailing and/or customer service industries, or of course, in the iconic Marshall Field's itself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book about a Great Store January 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was a long time fan and customer of Marshall Field & Company. This book is a good history of the store from it's roots up to it being "macyated" in 2006. Reading this book brought back fond memories of a truly great department store, even if most of the things mentioned were before my time. Although there were a few mistakes in the book, they are just trivial, such as the reference of Midway Airport's terminal being on Central Ave, when in fact it was on Cicero Ave, or the location of the Sears State Street Store being a few blocks north of it's actual location. Overall the book was an enjoyable read and a reminder that that Marshall Field's IS Chicago and something that should not have been Macy-ated.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Written, Nostalgic Story September 16, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Marshall Field's & Company was one of the most revered high-end department stores of our time. It was bought out by Macy's and dissolved. This is the story of an iconic, Chicago department store and the man (and his family) who fought to keep it alive. If you miss the era of luxurious and elegant fashions, splendorous tea rooms and restaurants in a store that survived the depression and went on to "Give the lady what she wants," then this book is for you. Also, I highly recommend the Marshall Field's cookbook.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Grand Dame of them all December 31, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The two most magnificent department stores buildings were Wanamaker's and Field's. Both were designed by the same architect and were extremely similar in feel. Yet without a doubt, of all major US department stores, Marshall Field's was the Grand Dame of them all. It not only was a beautiful; structure, but its' Buyers, its' merchandising, and its' service were on a level next to none. Even when it was purchased by Dayton Hudson Corporation, they still retained many of the trademarks which made this store unique. May Company started the downward spiral and Macy*s was the final knife. However, given the name change to Macy*s, upon a recent trip to Chicago, Macy*s has done an excellent job continue the final restoration of this magnificent landmark building. This book does an excellent job in its history of the store from its' beginnings to the present. No detail is left unmentioned. It is well written, exact and fascinating. The book contains many great photos, but could have used more, especially during its golden period of the 40's-70's. Still, by comparison to the Wanamaker's book (also offered by Amazon), this book is brimming with photos.

A must for natives of Chicago, or any one interested in retail or the history of the great American Department Stores. Also, check out website, "The American Department Store Museum" for some great photos of Fields and other great retailers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great journey down memory lane
A very interesting presentation on Field's history and impact. It was great to learn about Field's influence on retail far beyond Chicago. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Marshall Field's was Chicago
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, later moving into the city as an adult. My family would take the train into the city, as they had done as children and Field's was the first place... Read more
Published 2 months ago by kathryn basinger
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very interesting especially for those with ties to Chicago. A quick read.
Published 3 months ago by Judith S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Well written, very enjoyable.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it immensely
"Marshall Field's: The Store That Helped Build Chicago" gave me the opportunity to walk through the store and take in its history through words ahd pictures. Read more
Published 3 months ago by S. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Business Read
Nice easy read. More information on the family history would have been desired but great history on retailing in Chicago.
Published 4 months ago by Howard D Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good History of My Kinda Store
I enjoyed Soucek's history of Marshall Fields and learned quite a bit that I hadn't known. The photos enhance the book her style is informative, but not pedantic.
Published 7 months ago by S. Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful to reminisce.
Had a great time remembering the old days when I would go downtown every Saturday and of course go to Field's - and at Christmas I would look at the window displays in wonder. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Marshll;s Fields
I lived in Chicago for many years even worked for Marshall Fields and found this book nostalgic. I learned a lot a bout the early years of Marshall Fields. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Shirley Silverman
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story of a business
I think a lot more detail of the store could have been provided. It did give a lot on the guy himself, Marshall Field's, but I'm doing research for a novel and it left me wanting... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Monette L. Bebow Reinhard
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More About the Author

Hi Folks,
I live in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago with my photographer husband and our feathered, furred, and scaly companions. I write mostly non-fiction, but occasionally branch out into different areas. My special interests are history and ornithology (especially parrots) but I will chase after whatever catches my fancy. I love to research, and find that is my favorite part of the writing experience. Don't be surprised if my book list covers a rather odd and disjointed selection of subjects. It simply reflects my very short attention span! Stay tuned to see what's next.... gayle

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