Rahm Dismisses, Disses Rachel Shteir's Caustic New York Times Book Review
ROSELAND — Mayor Rahm Emanuel took issue with a book review more critical of Chicago than it was of the books it focused on.
"No one read the book review," Emanuel advised Monday, a day after the piece was the cover article in The New York Times Book Review. "Read the book, make your own judgment."
The review by DePaul theater professor Rachel Shteir, decried Chicago's "bloviating" self-importance. It took on several Chicago-centric books including Neil Steinberg's "You Were Never in Chicago," and made reference to the origins of Chicago's nickname as the Windy City.
Emanuel was unapologetic about the city's self-importance Monday, when the subject came up at a news conference in Roseland. "It didn't note that the City of Chicago has the most Nobel Prize winners of any city in America," Emanuel said. "And they think we shouldn't be proud of ourselves? I'm quite proud of the City of Chicago."
In the review, Shteir says the city's "swagger" falls short of the goals of civic luminaries like Daniel Burnham: "the bloviating roars on, as if hot air could prevent Chicago from turning into Detroit."
"I'd recommend that writer ... go see our city," Emanuel added. "Meet the people. Meet our neighborhoods. We have a lot to offer, which is why we're a world-class city."
Shteir is the author of the books "Gypsy: The Art of the Tease," "Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show" and "The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting."
In October 2010, before Emanuel became mayor, Shteir wrongly declared, "Rahm Emanuel won't be Chicago's mayor, because the city won't elect a Jew."