Stories by Michael Lipkin

"The Unwinding"

An Inner History of the New America

A gas station owner in the South who becomes one of the strongest advocates for green energy. A one-time aide to Joe Biden-turned-lobbyist, who now says the system is hopelessly corrupt. Their stories--and a half dozen others--document what author George Packer says is a dissolution of American institutions. Read an excerpt from Packer's book.

Chicago By Day and Night

The Pleasure Seeker's Guide to the Paris of America

It was the how-to guide to find the best bars and most scandalous shows in the Second City. Originally printed for tourists about to visit the Columbian Exposition of 1893, Chicago By Day and Night: A Pleasure Seeker's Guide to the Paris of America is being reissued by historians Paul Durica and Bill Savage. Read an article.

Up, Up, and Away!

Book details Superman, America's "most enduring hero"

What's the secret to Superman's success while others have faded away? And who was behind the country's first superhero? As the latest Superman movie, Man of Steel, crushes box-office records, we revisit our conversation with Larry Tye, author of Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero. Read a book excerpt and watch a web extra video.

Bruce Rauner Running for Governor

Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner says he'll fix a broken Springfield in an ad announcing his run for governor. Rauner joins us to discuss his bid.

Jon Lowenstein/NOOR

"Chicago's Bloody Year"

Photographer Jon Lowenstein has been documenting the South Side for over a decade. His latest project, "Chicago's Bloody Year," depicts the intricate and intimate effects of gun violence in the community. He joins us.

Sen. Mark Kirk

Sen. Mark Kirk makes his first appearance on Chicago Tonight since his stroke. He talks bipartisanship, his recovery and what's happening in Congress.

"City Water, City Life"

How Water Defined 19th Century Cities

As Chicago debates whether nonprofits should be allowed free water, we discuss the origins of the city's water system. Northwestern University's Carl Smith joins us with stories from his latest book, City Water, City Life.

Merits of Medical Marijuana

With a medical marijuana bill on the governor's desk, we hear more about what diseases it can treat and the chemistry behind how it works. 

John Picken/flickr

Sun-Times: DePaul Stadium Planned for McCormick Place

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the city is planning a 12,000-seat arena at McCormick Place that could house the DePaul Blue Demons. The University of Chicago's Allen Sanderson breaks down the economics of a new stadium.

Excerpt: "The Roberts Court"

A bell rings through the chambers of the nine justices of the Supreme Court just five minutes before they take their seats in the courtroom to hear arguments in the day’s cases. The sound reminds them that it is time to go to the robing room, an oak-paneled room, containing nine closets, each with a brass nameplate of the justice whose robes are inside. As soon as more than one justice enters, the traditional handshake in which each justice shakes hands with each of the other eight begins.

"The Roberts Court"

The Struggle For The Constitution

The Roberts Court has become the most conservative Supreme Court in decades--but acts in distinctly unconservative ways, writes Marcia Coyle. She joins us.

"Maya's Notebook"

An excerpt from Maya's Notebook, by Isabel Allende


The Future of Government

President Obama's former regulation chief Cass Sunstein joins us with a look at how the White House puts laws into practice.

Isabel Allende

Magical realist Isabel Allende joins us to discuss her latest book, Maya's Notebook.

Sen. Dick Durbin

Sen. Dick Durbin joins us to discuss the bipartisan immigration bill being considered in Congress, and the latest on the Hill.

Parking Settlement Extends Evening Hours

Mayor Emanuel says his parking meter settlement will net the city $20 million a year, but won't release his calculations. Chicago's top lawyer and Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) join our panel.

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon gives us the scoop on why she decided not to run for reelection, and what’s next.

"Brokers of Deceit"

How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East

Middle East scholar Rashid Khalidi says America has not been working for peace in its efforts to mediate the Israel-Palestine conflict, including President Obama's backtracking on freezing West Bank settlements. He joins us.


Star basketball trainer Tim Grover shares insider stories on Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade, and others. 

Negro League Players Reflect on Jackie Robinson

Sixty-six years ago this week, Jackie Robinson made his historic debut in the major leagues. Two former Negro League players, and Jackie Robinson biographer Jonathan Eig, reflect on Robinson's legacy and accomplishments.

Ninian Reid / flickr

Boston Bombing Investigation

The FBI says it will go to "the ends of the Earth" to find those responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing. We hear from security and terrorism experts on what clues we know so far, and how agencies plan for similar attacks.

"Savory Bites"

Cupcake Wars champ and baked goods maven Hollis Wilder shares her secrets to cupcake perfection.

"The Great Deformation"

The Corruption of Capitalism in America

Former Reagan budget director David Stockman says the Federal Reserve's perennially low interest rates and the move away from the gold standard have put America on the path to financial ruin. He joins us.

Web Extra: 1986 John Callaway Interview with David Stockman

Former congressman and Reagan budget director David Stockman sits down with John Callaway in 1986. 

CPS Closure Timeline

View our timeline for more on the steps leading up to the CPS final closure list, and what parents should expect next. 

Excerpt: "1,001 Days in the Bleachers"

An excerpt from 1,001 Days in the Bleachers: A Quarter Century of Chicago Sports, by Ted Cox