The Leopold and Loeb Files: An Intimate Look at One of America’s Most Infamous Crimes by Nina Barrett illuminates one of the most mythologized crime stories in America, and Chicagoland particularly; the 1924 murder of 14 year old Bobby Franks by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold & Richard Loeb.
Barrett's book introduces and annotates excerpts from rare primary source documents from the case, including psychiatric reports, court transcripts, and photographs, to give us a fascinating look into the past as it really happened. Our conversation gets into the layers of meaning that have made this inscrutable murder endlessly interesting.
Nina’s website, with info on Rosehill Cemetery
Bookends & Beginnings, the bookstore Nina owns in Evanston
Illinois State Rep. Bob Morgan talks about the new Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which legalizes recreational marijuana use in Illinois starting on January 1st, 2020.
Rep. Morgan (of our 58th district) helped shape the new law. He has worked as a healthcare lawyer on medical cannabis issues and previously ran the state’s medical cannabis program.
Our conversation covers the why, how, and where of purchasing legal cannabis. We also address parents’ concerns, quality control for consumers, and the unique social justice elements of this law.
Rep. Morgan is a Deerfield resident, so you’ll hear hyper-local information about how recreational cannabis will affect our village directly, especially with medical cannabis dispensaries already operating in Deerfield and nearby Highland Park and Buffalo Grove.
You can contact Rep. Morgan’s office at https://www.repbobmorgan.com/.
30 Before 30: How I Made a Mess of My 20s and You Can Too, documents Marina Shifrin's quest to complete 30 goals before turning 30. Each chapter in the book covers one of her goals, from riding a bike across the Brooklyn Bridge and living in a different country, to becoming famous and falling in love.
Marina, who works as a TV writer and freelancer, is also known for her 2013 viral video where she quit her job while dancing to Kanye West and for her Modern Love column in the New York Times. Our conversation gets into the backstories behind these public sensations and the pressures of writing (and living) in the digital age. Marina was born in Russian and grew up in Skokie and Highland Park and attended Deerfield High School, so we also hear about how her time at DHS influenced her outlook.
Listen for a truly funny and heartfelt conversation about Marina’s many lives, her advice for twenty-somethings, and how she writes her way through the strange demands on our generation.
You can check out 30 Before 30: How I Made a Mess of My 20s and You Can Too here at the library, or learn more about Marina on her website: marinavshifrin.com.
The Art of Inventing Hope: Intimate Conversations with Elie Wiesel recounts Howard Reich’s four years of friendship and conversation with Wiesel, the great author, humanitarian, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Holocaust survivor who profoundly shaped our understanding of the Holocaust.
Howard Reich has been working as an arts critic at the Chicago Tribune since 1978. His friendship with Wiesel began in 2012 when the Tribune presented Wiesel with their literary award, and they both connected over a shared history. Reich, himself the child of Holocaust survivors, was able to ask Wiesel all the questions he couldn’t ask his parents about the difficult legacy of the Holocaust for his family and the world. Hear moving reflections on how Wiesel was able to “invent hope” from the darkest history.
You can find The Art of Inventing Hope: Intimate Conversations with Elie Wiesel here at the library, as well as his memoir about mother and other writing. You can find out more about Howard Reich on his website or read his Chicago Tribune columns here.
Blues musician and longtime Deerfield resident Derrick Procell has made a name for himself in the music and ad industry for his energy, talent, and strong vocals. Today, Procell is the frontman of the Chicago soul and blues band "Derrick Procell and the Redeemers" and has been heard on everything from beer commercials to The Office, King of the Hill, and Ladybird.
Listen to this special **early release** musical episode to find out how Procell got his start at 16, how he found success as a voiceover actor, and his interactions with musicians like Charlie McCoy, Chicago saxaphonist Eddie Shaw, and his writing partner, Grammy-winning songwriter Terry Abrahamson.
You can check out Procell’s latest album and other music at www.derrickanamerican.com. To see what Procell and his band are up to, visit their facebook page or catch their free concert at the Deerfield Summer Sampler Concert Series on Sunday, July 7, from 5- to 6:30 p.m, at Mitchell Park, 951 Wilmot Road.
X-Men in Deerfield! In Chris Claremont's nearly 20-year run writing X-Men comics, he wrote many classic stories that made The Uncanny X-Men a bestseller and spawned blockbuster movies.
Claremont also made Deerfield the hometown of Kitty Pryde who was first introduced in “X-Men #129” as a 13½ year-old Jewish girl living in a split-level on Central Ave., whose strange headaches presage her mutant ability to phase through matter. It’s not long before Professor Xavier, Wolverine, Storm, and Colossus come through town to recruit her for the X-Men. That’s right, True Believers: Deerfield, IL is in the Marvel Universe!
Topics include: why Chris chose Deerfield as Kitty’s hometown, the theme of persecution and otherness that define the X-Men, the origin of Wolverine’s classic snikt! sound, remembering Stan Lee, the new Dark Phoenix movie (based on Chris's story), and what it’s like to created hundreds of beloved characters that, ultimately, you don’t own.
Chris Claremont titles (from the X-Men and many other series) are available here at the library. Any superfans out there can email email@example.com to get the full hour-plus, unedited interview for all the nerdy details, alternate storylines, and funny stories we couldn’t fit.
Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. Rothstein’s widely praised book makes clear that the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day--and uses Deerfield history as one of many examples. Video of the lecture is available, too.
This was the final program in our special series, The Fight to Integrate Deerfield: 60 Year Reflection, which featured discussions, lectures, and exhibits all focused on the history of Deerfield residents voting to block an integrated housing development intended for the Village in 1959.
Listen to past podcast episodes on The Fight to Integrate Deerfield: Graham Ambrose on his Yale thesis on Deerfield history, or longtime resident and photographer Art Shay.
While our programs are over, you can still see our exhibits of photographs and displays of original materials through the end of this anniversary year. We are also still collecting stories, reflections, and documents related to the fight over integrated housing in Deerfield. Find out more here.
Finally, our online resources, including our newly digitized archives, videos of past programs, audio interviews, and more, will be up in perpetuity for future residents and researchers and are also available here.
Rep. Brad Schneider has a special connection to Deerfield. Not only does he represent our village as part of Illinois’ 10th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, but he also lives here in Deerfield.
We ask Rep. Schneider about the life of a Member of Congress from juggling the logistics of traveling back and forth to D.C., to preparing for a hearing, to how he incorporates feedback from constituents. We also ask him about some of the local issues he’s discussed on his recent “listening tour” around the district, including immigration, gun control, and climate change, among other issues like the SALT deduction and the racial wealth gap.
Two of our most popular recent program presenters are featured! First up, Molly Page, author of 100 Things to Do in Chicago Before You Die. She fills us in on some of her favorite things to do in the city, including some hidden secrets. Molly’s enthusiasm for Chicagoland is super contagious and we know you’ll get some great ideas for your next family outing or solo exploring trip. And you can check out Molly’s book here at the Library!
Then we hear from Masala Sapphire, a Chicago-based drag queen who presented at our hugely popular program Drag Queen Story Hour last week. Masala tells us what drag means to her and what it was like to read picture books and perform for a unique Library audience.
Drag Queen Story Hour is a nationally recognized event that gives kids (and everyone!) a space to be themselves and provides them with glamorous, positive queer role models. All the books read are on our Youth Department’s “Be Who You Are!” book list. You can check them out below:
The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt, a comics biography of the Jewish-German philosopher by Ken Krimstein. Ken is also a frequent cartoonist for The New Yorker and other publications—and he grew up in Deerfield!
Ken tells us how he became a cartoonist and how a cartoonist approaches the difficult life and ideas of Hannah Arendt.
You can check out The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt here at the library. Ken’s book will be celebrated in an upcoming exhibition of his drawings at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago next month.
Graham Ambrose has written for The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. Graham wrote a recent history thesis at Yale about his hometown’s history and the housing integration crisis that began in Deerfield in 1959. In our conversation, Graham details the history and reads from his thesis, "“The Little Rock of the North”: Racial Integration and NIMBYism in Suburban Chicago, 1959.”
The Library is hosting a months-long series of programs, exhibits, and other opportunities to reflect on the 60 year anniversary of the integration crisis called the Fight to Integrate Deerfield. You can find out more about the history and our unique program series at our website deerfieldlibrary.org/FID or listen here to our episode:
Graham Ambrose and others will be speaking at our 60 Year Reflection Community Panel Discussion on March 12, 2019, 7pm. Registration opens February 13th.
If you have a story, memory, physical artifact, or reflection to share with the library for our archives, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Art Shay Photography Unveiling and Reception: Join us on January 21st from 5 - 6:30 pm to see our stunning new photos related to this history and enjoy some treats while you browse the exhibits. No registration is required.
Podcast listeners will remember our interview with world-renowned photographer and Deerfield resident Art Shay.