by
Rod Sellers
Southeast Historical Society
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 One of the phrases that has been used to describe Chicago’s Southeast Side is “smokestacks and steeples”.  The community developed because of the steel industry but has been affected by the decline of the American steel industry in recent years.  Most of the smokestacks are gone or at least idle.  But many of the steeples, stores, schools, and other local institutions and organizations, that were created by the numerous, diverse ethnic groups who made this community, remain.  The people of South Chicago, South Deering, the East Side, and Hegewisch look to the future.  The community is in many respects at a crossroads.  Will economic redevelopment occur and if it does at what price?  Will the natural ecology and environment, damaged by years of abuse and neglect, be restored and protected?
 This second book about the region tells the story of this most interesting and vibrant Chicago community from a chronological approach.  It looks at important themes of American History from the perspective of this urban, working class community.  Industrialization, urbanization, unionization, immigration, and Americanization were themes that played out on the Southeast Side of Chicago.  It looks at how the community dealt with problems like depression, wars, pollution, and the decline of heavy industry, especially the steel industry.   The struggle between economic development and protection of the natural environment has always been part of the story. 
 Author Rod Sellers who was born in South Chicago, grew up in the East Side, and has spent his professional career teaching in high schools of the community has compiled a wonderful collection of photographs which chronicle the story of these proud neighborhoods.  Chicago’s Southeast Side Revisited again taps into the wonderful  images from the collections of the Southeast Historical Museum.  He has tapped into the stories and recollections of longtime community residents to create this informative and entertaining history.  It is sure to provoke memories, discussion, and interest in current and former residents of the community as well as others. 
 
Chicago
Teachers' Center
National Endowment for the Humanities
Northeastern 
Illinois University