Challenging Chicago: Coping with Everyday Life, 1837-1920 - Perry Duis
I read this while I lived in Chicago, and enjoyed it enormously. I couldn't stop regaling my acquaintances with tidbits of information, such as "Did you know that at the beginning of the century, when house-owners wanted to move, they would jack their house off its foundations and take it with them, trucking it through the streets of Chicago?" It also made me want to explore Chicago and see if I could find traces of the life Duis described.