Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Ross Miller  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1946 in Brooklyn, New York

-- Ross Miller on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

From 1991-93, Miller was the Resident Scholar and Director of The Chicago Institute for Architecture and Urbanism.

Biographical and Professional Information

Miller is a professor in the Department of English and the Program in Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and in scholarly journals.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Great Chicago Fire
ISBN: 0252069145

University of Illinois Press. 2000

On October 8, 1871, four decades after its founding, Chicago's destiny was rewritten "with a pen of fire." In this imaginative and penetrating study, Ross Miller considers the mythic proportions of the Great Chicago Fire as the city reshaped its own tragedy into an archetype of the modern struggle against adversity.
Amid myriad eyewitness and photographic accounts of the fire, a consideration of what had actually happened was quickly subordinated to a developing narrative that attempted to resolve the city's conflicted identity into a unity. Disaster was recast as opportunity, and a period that began with catastrophic destruction ended in the triumph of the World's Columbian Exposition. Within a generation of the fire, Chicago became home to a radical new architecture, a daring new realistic fiction, literary journalism, and the new scientific study of society.

Here's the Deal: The Making and Breaking of a Great American City
ISBN: 0810120372

Northwestern University Press. 2003

A hard-hitting study of how ambition and greed are leading our cities to disaster.

Before there was a Ground Zero in New York City, Block 37 was a giant hole in the heart of a great American city. In 1990, Chicago's Block 37 (as a key part of a twenty-seven-acre urban renewal project) was razed to the ground. After the expenditure of nearly $250 million of public and private capital, nothing has been built on this once vital and densely-occupied city block. This stubborn vacancy at the center of Chicago's historic downtown eerily presaged the post 9/11 wasteland in Lower Manhattan.

In a new critical introduction, Ross Miller makes the historical and political connections necessary to understand how modern city planning and redevelopment really works. By exploring one American urban block in meticulous detail, Miller clarifies the opaque process that continually breaks and remakes our most vital cities. Here's the Deal is a thrilling true-life story of back room deals and political promises. Told throughout with the scrupulousness of serious scholarship and the excitement of a novel, Here's the Deal is already considered a modern classic of urban literature.



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