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If Christ Came to Chicago

 

 

 

If Christ Came to Chicago

W. T. Stead Map, 1894
Written by the British journalist William T. Stead and published by Laird & Lee in 1894, If Christ Came to Chicago was an inflammatory exposé of Chicago's political corruption and the underground economy. Mixing radical religion and politics, the text allegedly sold 70,000 copies on its publication day. Stead, the son of a Congregationalist minister and the editor of the Review of Reviews, previously had explored such themes in his “Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon” in London's Pall Mall Gazette (1885) and In Darkest England (1890), coauthored with Salvation Army founder William Booth. A color-coded map of the Levee district on the Near South Side precisely located the numerous brothels, saloons, and pawnbrokers, and an appendix enumerated the addresses, proprietors, and owners of the highlighted properties. Stead died on the Titanic in 1912.

Bibliography
Baylen, Joseph O. “A Victorian's ‘Crusade’ in Chicago, 1893–1894.” Journal of American History 51 (December 1964): 418–434.
Stead, William T. If Christ Came to Chicago! A Plea for the Union of All Who Love in the Service of All Who Suffer. 1894; reprint, 1990.
Whyte, Frederick. The Life of W. T. Stead. 2 vols. 1925.