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.
Stories by michael lipkin
An Inner History of the New America
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Sen. Dick Durbin joins us to discuss the bipartisan immigration bill being considered in Congress, and the latest on the Hill.
Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon gives us the scoop on why she decided not to run for reelection, and what’s next.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Former congressman and Reagan budget director David Stockman sits down with John Callaway in 1986.
View our timeline for more on the steps leading up to the CPS final closure list, and what parents should expect next.