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What We're Reading: The Chicago Roots of 'Transparent'

By  Andrew Herrmann Sam Cholke and Heather Cherone | October 22, 2015 2:46pm | Updated on October 22, 2015 2:50pm

 Jill Soloway (left) picked up a Golden Globe as creator of the Amazon Studio series
Jill Soloway (left) picked up a Golden Globe as creator of the Amazon Studio series "Transparent."
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Getty Images/Frazer Harrison

What we're reading to take our minds off Cubs postseason withdrawal:

The Story Behind the Show: With the second-season of Amazon's Emmy-award winning show "Transparent" coming Dec. 4, an essay in Harper's Bazaar reveals its Chicago roots. Elaine Soloway, whose daughter Jill created the show, details how she fell in love with her now ex-husband in Chicago 55 years ago. The couple lived on the North Side before having two daughters and moving to the Near South Side, which she likened to "Dorothy leaving dull Kansas for Technicolor Oz." There Soloway transformed into an editor and activist, while she and her husband grew further and further apart. The couple divorced in 1990 and, in 2011, Soloway's ex-husband told her she was transgender. Soloway writes that the two are now close friends who live near each other Downtown. But her essay is infused with regret that she didn't "dig harder to learn her truth" before the two divorced.

Jeffrey Tambor stars as a trangender woman  in Amazon's "Transparent."

Does an MBA Make You More or Less Ethical?: University of Chicago professor John Paul Rollert is defending business schools in light of the VW scheme that put profits over pollution, a situation that has led some to charge that MBAs are schooled to be amoral when it comes to the bottom line. 

Four or five decades ago, people who wanted to change the world were told to go to law school, Rollert, a business professor, tells Fortune. Today, he says, “If you really want to do good, if you want to make an impact on the world, you go to business school.” He argues that the "center for moral gravity" of the business world is no longer Wall Street but the more idealistic Silicon Valley. Meanwhile, another expert tells Fortune that an ethical approach is "essential" for businesses "that want to thrive and survive." Senior editor Andrew Herrmann notes VW is facing an $8-billion recall.

Martin Winterkorn, former chairman of German carmaker Volkswagen AG, was forced out after VW was caught producing cars that used technology to rig emissions testings.

The Axe Files: David Axelrod is getting into the loose and wild world of podcasting. The former adviser to President Barack Obama and now head of the Institute of Politics at U. of C. is tapping the political elite he worked (and clashed) with at the White House and on the campaign trail for "The Axe Files." True to the format, the conversations are long — the Mitt Romney interview clocks in at over an hour. Who knew that Axelrod had a strain of Terry Gross and wanted to delve into the personal lives of the political personas he's worked for and against since his early years in Chicago's mayoral politics?

David Axelrod (r.) talks with then-deputy chief of staff for policy Mona Sutphen (c.) and President Barack Obama at a Georgetown basketball game in 2010. [Getty Images]

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