New from The Atlantic: Because place matters.

The Not-So-Second City

Benjamin Schwarz

Chicago is the finest architectural city in the United States, Benjamin Schwarz writes--and as if to celebrate it, he surveys a number of books that chronicle its skyline, reviewing titles aimed at specialists and others better suited for general audiences. The story includes a rueful note. "Despite Chicago's abundance of talented young architects, including Jeanne Gang, 'Chicago' architecture is no longer a living tradition," Schwarz writes. "But there's nothing to be done. The forces of globalism, or cosmopolitanism, as Marx both lamented and cheered long ago, are unstoppable."

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