The Damndest Radical

The Damndest Radical : The Life and World of Ben Reitman, Chicago's Celebrated Social Reformer, Hobo King, and Whorehouse Physician

4.2 (15 ratings by Goodreads)
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Roger A. Bruns's immensely entertaining biography, now available in paperback, throws a spotlight on a colorful, influential, but long-obscured Chicago character. This is the true story of Ben Reitman, ally of hobos, personal physician to scores of Al Capone's prostitutes, author, womanizer, founder of Chicago's Hobo College, and longtime lover of Emma Goldman.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 154.4 x 229.6 x 20.6mm | 547.41g
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0252069897
  • 9780252069895

Review quote

"Any knowledge of Chicago's past is inadequate without the story of this Byronesque performer and his outrageous, and strangely visionary, colleagues... [A] splendid biography." - Studs Terkel, Chicago Sun-Times "This spirited biography of a celebrated agitator, social reformer, and whorehouse physician keeps a neat balance between humor and seriousness--yes, and pathos." - Jack Conroy, Chicago Tribune "One of the most fascinating and least-known Americans of the [twentieth] century is profiled in this remarkable biography... Bruns has fashioned a splendid book on an outstanding subject." - Publishers Weekly(/i> "Bruns captures the lives of Reitman and his unshaven associates with an infectious gusto and humor... A joyous portrait of a man and his milieu, of interest to all armchair vagabonds." - Kirkus Reviews "[A] welcome introduction to a fascinating and little-known side of native radicalism and to an amusing, moving and uniquely American soul." - Patrick Clinton, New York Times Book Review "Reitman ... was always looking for a laugh, even in the most desperate of situations. One feels a warmth and sympathy for Reitman by the end of the book, a biography that is powerful in its clarity, humor, good nature, and unobtrusive scholarship." - Candace Falk, author of Love, Anarchy, and Emma Goldman
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Rating details

15 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 40% (6)
4 40% (6)
3 20% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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