Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, September 29

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Literary Wed Jul 23 2008

Progressive Nation

Chicagoan Jerome Pohlen is a Congressional Green Party candidate for Illinois’ 3rd District and author of the recent book Progressive Nation: A Travel Guide with 400+ Inspiring Landmarks and Left Turns (Chicago Review Press, 2008). The guide breaks down all 50 states, highlighting districts, shops and other specific landmarks that reveal the influences of the Progressive Movement. His guide is enormous (422 pages) and thorough. In Illinois alone Pohlen covers Mother Jones’ burial site in Mt. Olive to Farm Aid in Champaign. In this way Pohlen dredges up information from both the more obscure locations with the most visible signs of Progressivism to the more widely-known but less-recognized roots of the movement.

Pohlen isn’t a first time travel guide writer, either. In addition to his political career and commentary contributions to WBEZ, Pohlen has written more than 10 travel books in "The Oddball Series," which feature a consciously-wacky look at state travel. Pohlen’s current guide is in the same organizational vein as this work with The Oddball Series, yet while Progressive Nation also borders on zany historical blips at times (featuring Omaha, NE - When Bright Eyes Talks to George W. Bush), the guide always connects back to the age-old Progressive influences (Chicago, IL- The Haymarket Riots). These connections show the impact that United States' Progressives made, and continue to make, in all 50 states. In fact, it is in these tiny, seemingly irrelevant mentions that Pohlen’s point of the continued connection between the Progressive movement and modern life appears most clearly. In Progressive Nation: A Travel Guide with 400+ Inspiring Landmarks and Left Turns, Pohlen’s historical roots run deep.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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