Stories by andrea guthmann

Nelson Algren sitting beneath a viaduct in Chicago. (Library of Congress)

Chicago Journalist’s ‘Algren: A Life’ Reveals New Details About Writer

He was a literary giant who chronicled the seedy side of the city. We talk with the author of a new biography about Chicago writer Nelson Algren.

Discussing the Future of Autonomous Automobiles

The arrival of driverless cars is shifting into high gear. They've already pulled into Pittsburgh–should Chicago give them the green light? A transportation engineer tells us about the future of autonomous automobiles.   

The new book “Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World” by Devorah Heitner.

‘Screenwise’ Book Offers Practical Advice for Digital Age of Parenting

Technology is creating challenges for today's parents. A local author has advice for how parents can plug into the changing world of social media, apps and the online world.

How to Make Sense of ‘The Five Life Decisions’

What career path to choose, who to marry, whether to have children. A University of Chicago economist tells us how basic economic principles can help you figure out life's biggest decisions.  

Making Sense of Illinois’ Changing Health Care Landscape

A growing number of health insurance companies are pulling out of Obamacare. Checking out the latest on the Affordable Care Act.  

Chicago Maritime Museum Opens in Bridgeport

The new permanent location for the museum opens on Saturday. Chicago Tonight got a preview of the new space located on the Bubbly Creek branch of the Chicago River. 

Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Chronicled in New Book Series

The political life of America’s 16th president is being told in a new multi-volume series by Chicago native Sidney Blumenthal.

Rauner Pushes for Compromise as Spring Session Draws to a Close

Eight days left in the General Assembly's spring session. Is there any end in sight to the budget impasse? We have a live report from the state capital. 

Great Migration Centennial Commemorates Historic Event

Between 1916 and 1970, a little more than 500,000 African-Americans settled in Chicago as part of the Great Migration. Learn about a yearlong, statewide celebration marking this historic event.

Does CPS’ Water-Testing Method Adhere to Best Practices?

A new report by WBEZ reporter Monica Eng takes a closer look at how the district is testing for lead in the water at 28 schools and whether this method follows best practices.

Arianna Huffington’s Wake-Up Call Prompted ‘The Sleep Revolution’

She's the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post and a syndicated columnist. Arianna Huffington talks about the wake-up call that led her to write her 15th book, "The Sleep Revolution."

A radioactive sign hangs on barbed wire outside of a café in Pripyat, which is near the Chernobyl Power Plant. (Diana Markosian  / Wikimedia)

Documenting ‘the Dead Zone’: Story of Chernobyl from Those Who Returned

Palatine native Holly Morris talks about her new documentary "The Babushkas of Chernobyl," which profiles three grandmothers who chose to ignore government orders and return home to live out their lives near the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster.

‘Sisters in Law’ Profiles Justices Day O’Connor, Bader Ginsburg

A new book spotlights the lives and careers of the first two women to serve on the United States Supreme Court—Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

(Author photo by Jeffrey Delannoy)

Irvine Welsh Talks ‘Trainspotting’ Sequel and New Book ‘A Decent Ride’

Best known for his 1993 novel "Trainspotting," author Irvine Welsh has been called the best storyteller in Britain. But for about 10 years now, he's lived in Chicago. We hear about his latest book, “A Decent Ride.”

New Report Finds Illinois Municipalities Pushing for ‘Home Rule’

A movement is underway to have the Illinois legislature expand what's called "home rule authority." Bob Reed of the Better Government Association explains what that could mean for towns and villages throughout the state.

‘Color-Conscious’ Casting: Putting Diversity in the Spotlight

A controversial casting notice for the mega-hit Broadway show "Hamilton" has ignited a firestorm in the theater world. Has the show's nontraditional casting become reverse discrimination?

Opening Day: How Will The Sox, Cubs Fare This Season?

The weather may not reflect it, but it's opening day for baseball. There's big time expectations for Chicago's long-time losing Cubs. WBEZ's Cheryl Raye Stout and Danny Ecker of Crain's Chicago Business have the stats on how the season's shaping up for the Sox and Cubs.

Jean Franczyk (Courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden)

Spring Brings New Leadership at Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden has named Jean Franczyk as its new president and CEO. The South Side native returns to Chicago after working in London for 10 years. She joins “Chicago Tonight” to discuss her new role at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Cook County Clerk David Orr appears on "Chicago Tonight" in July 2014 to talk about an online TIF mapping tool.

Cook County Clerk David Orr on Election Law Changes

Last week's primary election saw several firsts, including same-day voter registration and record-breaking early voting. Cook County Clerk David Orr discusses what it means for the future.

Analyzing Potential Sale, Development of Old Main Post Office

The saga over the sprawling Old Main Post Office is heating up. Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently started threatening to seize the building from the British developer who purchased it in 2009. Now comes word the building is about to be sold to a new owner.   

(Author photo by Jeffrey Delannoy)

Author Irvine Welsh Takes Readers for 'A Decent Ride'

Best known for his 1993 novel "Trainspotting," which chronicled a group of unemployed drug addicts in Scotland, author Irvine Welsh has been called the best storyteller in Britain. But for about 10 years now, he's lived in Chicago. We'll hear about his new book, “A Decent Ride.”

New Book Traces History of Presidential Primary Process

Saturday's Republican primary race in South Carolina gave a big boost to political outsider Donald Trump, and left many Republicans stunned when the establishment candidate, Jeb Bush, dropped out of the race. Geoffrey Cowan's new book traces the history of the presidential primary process from its first days in 1912. 

Study: Loneliness Linked to Adverse Health Effects

It's the weekend for love, but Valentine's Day can leave some feeling awfully lonely. A University of Chicago neuroscientist joins “Chicago Tonight” to discuss the science of loneliness and its potential health hazards.   

President Obama Praises Local Leader in Calls for Religious Tolerance

President Barack Obama on Wednesday visited a U.S. mosque for the first time during his presidency. We speak with a Chicagoan who was one of 10 Muslim-Americans invited to sit down and talk with the president before he delivered a speech on religious tolerance.

What’s Driving High-Rise Construction Boom in Chicago?

Chicago is seeing a rise in high-rise construction with 34 new buildings over 200 feet tall currently under construction. That number has doubled in the last 15 months. What’s causing the sky-high building boom? Curbed Chicago editor AJ LaTrace joins "Chicago Tonight" to explain.

Khan's Classroom: The Future of Online Education

Can technology change how we learn? Former hedge fund analyst Sal Khan thinks so. His new approach to learning involves "hustle" and "flipping the classroom." Learn more from the founder of the free, non-profit online learning website, Khan Academy.