This image is the cover for the book Chicago Race Riots

Chicago Race Riots

This classic volume of reportage by the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet and journalist examines the racial tensions that erupted in the Red Summer of 1919.

In July of 1919, a black child swam past the invisible line of segregation at one of Chicago’s public beaches. White men on the shore threw rocks at the boy until he was knocked unconscious and drowned. After police shrugged off demands for those white men to be arrested, riots broke out that would last for days, claim thirty-four lives, and burn down several houses in the city’s “black-belt.”

A young reporter for the Chicago Daily News, Carl Sandburg was assigned to cover the story. His series of articles went well beyond a chronicle of the violence of the moment. They explored the complex and incendiary social, economic, and political tensions that finally ignited that summer. This volume of Sandburg’s articles includes an introduction by Walter Lipmann and a foreword by Ralph McGill.

Carl Sandburg, Ralph McGill, Walter Lippmann

Carl Sandburg was an American poet, biographer, journalist, and editor. He is the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes: two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. During his lifetime, Sandburg was widely regarded as “a major figure in contemporary literature,” especially for his volumes of collected verse, including Chicago Poems (1916), Cornhuskers (1918), and Smoke and Steel (1920). He enjoyed “unrivaled appeal as a poet in his day, perhaps because the breadth of his experiences connected him with so many strands of American life,” and, upon his death in 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson said about the writer: “Carl Sandburg was more than the voice of America, more than the poet of its strength and genius. He was America.”

HarperCollins Publishers