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The Great Chicago Fire And the Myth of Mrs. O'Leary's Cow

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786423583
ISBN-10: 0786423587
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An entertaining and valuable source of information” --Journal of Illinois History

“Should exonerate Catherine O’Leary from more than 130 years of unmerited slander” --C&RL News

“Painstaking anaylsis” --City Talk

About the Author

Richard F. Bales is Assistant Regional Counsel for the Wheaton, Illinois office of Chicago Title Insurance Company. This title insurance company maintains the only set of land records that survived the blaze of 1871. Bales’ initial conclusions concerning the cause of the Great Chicago Fire earned him the Illinois State Historical Society’s Harry E. Pratt Memorial Award.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers (April 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786423587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786423583
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,428,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This work is simply superb! It is exhaustively researched, well-organized, tightly argued, beautifully illustrated, and entirely convincing. It covers virtually every feature of the fire, the resulting botched investigation, and the era's social contexts. An outstanding model of research, analysis, and writing.
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By A Customer on November 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Very detailed and informative book about "The rest of the story." The author not only offers his version of the facts of the case, but also gives one an understanding of the politics and social mood of the period in which the fire took place. The photographs and drawings are terrific. There are few, if any, unanswered questions after reading this book. It's worth the money, I would say.
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Format: Hardcover
Dick Bales has covered every possible base in getting to the bottom of The Great Chicago Fire. With this event happening 130+ years ago, most people don't realize the devastation that this fire caused. The illustrations, photos and other research documents bring it into perspective on what may have really happened. I am sure many have been taught in school the myth of Mrs. O'Leary and her cow, but this book blows that idea out of the water! This should become required reading in every school so the truth may finally be revealed. A++++++
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The research seems thorough and the insights sensible. One wonders why these weren't advanced decades ago. It hurts to think Chicago politicians and newspaper people were corrupt even back in 1871-1873, but it becomes apparent. Kudos to the Chicago Historical Museum for its hand in getting this book published. Spoilers? Nope, but you'll be absorbed by the details. It's dry reading, but fascinating if you're anywhere near being interested in Chicago history.
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