People can’t seem to agree on what counts as the Midwest. Some maps include the Great Plains; others exclude southern Indiana and southern Illinois. But no matter which map you look at, they all have something in common: Chicago.
That’s why the Curious City team was surprised when we received the following question:
Are Chicagoans true Midwesterners?
Perplexed, we hit the streets and found widespread disagreement on the issue. We learned that people don’t always think of “Midwestern” as a geographic identity, but rather an economic, political and cultural one. To learn more about how that identity is defined and how it has changed over the years, we talked to journalists, historians and TV producers who have thought a lot about Chicago’s relationship to the rest of the Midwest.
Jesse Dukes is the audio reporter for Curious City. You can follow him @CuriousDukes.