Recommended reading for Chicagoans who love the city but despair about its future.

“What Next, Chicago?: Notes of a Pissed-Off Native Son,” by Matt Rosenberg.


Matt Rosenberg dives into the heart of a city beset by violence, corruption and citycide. (Here’s the Amazon link.) This is what I wrote for a book blurb:

“Matt Rosenberg writes about the Chicago Way in the Chicago Style of a Mike Royko…. It’s a coherent, honest, and balanced tour of the city’s perpetual corruption, unsafe streets, gawd-awful schools, ghost neighborhoods, financial legerdemain, and the false Unified Theory of Systemic Racism that cloaks it all. Yet, What Next, Chicago? is no helpless, hopeless wail, but a powerful and useful roadmap for a rebirth of a once-great city, based on the voices of Black families and others who don’t need academia to know what to do. Must reading for Chicago lovers.” —Dennis Byrne, former Chicago Sun-Times editorial board member and author of Madness: The War of 1812.

Here’s another blurb:

Not since author Alex Kotlowitz ventured into Chicago’s Henry Horner housing projects has an author offered such a thoughtful and thorough first-hand analysis of the state of urban disrepair. Leaders…across America would be well served by reading Matt Rosenberg’s account of what’s happening in Chicago and how not to make some of the same mistakes.” Cyrus Krohn, former Publisher,, author of “Bombarded: How to Fight Back Against the Online Assault on Democracy.”

For those of you who read Kotlowitz’s superb There are no children here, this is indeed high praise.

Here’s a sample.

If you are wonder if Matt is related to the late, great Milt Rosenberg, you’re right. Matt is Milt’s son. Milt was the long-time host of Extension 720 on WGN radio, the most erudite, thoughtful and informative talk show in Chicago’s history.

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  • Have only read first three chapters, but what an excellent read. Covers all the way up to Lightfoot not seeing white reporters on her 2nd anniversary. Exposes a lot of hypocrisy and double dealing of Democrats for the last 75 years in the name of progressives. Only thing missing is a list of convicted officials, but that might take another 150 pages. Can’t wait to finish it, could be a midnighter.

  • Dennis,
    I am happy to say that as of Monday, the whole family will be OUT OF IL NOW! How do I change my name to HAPPY TO BE OUT OF IL! This book and seeing Lightfoot on TV this morning about vaccinations vindicates my decision.

  • Thanks for the recommendation. I look forward to reading "What Next, Chicago?"

    I remember Matthew's father, Milt Rosenbeerg, vividly. WGN, weekdays from 9 to 11 p.m. I think. Indeed, Milt was a polymath, polysyllabic scholar of the first rank. Whenever I tuned in, I learned so much. I still can hear his rich baritone engaging in a stimulating conversation.

    Milt, in the great studio in the sky, must be especially proud of his son Matthew, who is an authentic journalist and investigative reporter.

    That said, I wonder what Matthew would think of the misinformation, Dennis, you've been peddling on your posts. After all that was, and perhaps still is, his beat at The New York Times.
    Matthew was interviewed back in 2019 about his views on technology and misinformation. He was at the time tracking its sources and other aspects before the upcoming 2020 election. You can find the whole interview online if you're interested. The following is a small sample"

    "Covering it [misinformation] all is tricky. Writing about every little conspiracy theory and fake news story circulating in the dark corners of the web risks amplifying the nonsense. Better to focus on the people behind the disinformation. Technology can help find them. But once you know who they are, it is about old-fashioned reporting — drawing them out and getting them to explain why they are in the disinformation game, their motivation, whom they are working with and who is paying the bills."

    Dennis,why are you in the disinformation game? And who is paying the bills?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    If you keep suggesting that someone can buy my opinion, you'll be gone from this site.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    I was not suggesting anything of the sort. I was only posing questions that Matt Rosenberg would put to you.

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