Linda Gartz


I’m sharing a perspective of Chicago, hard to get anywhere else. That’s because I’ve dug through a vast archive of family letters, diaries, documents, and photos that span the twentieth century.

I’ll be writing in my blog about how my discoveries give perspective to present-day issues facing Chicago and the nation.

The Newberry Library, Chicago’s venerable research institution, wants every piece of this vast trove of first-hand Chicago history for its Modern Manuscript Collections. (check out The Newberry’s Family Papers to see other Chicagoan’s papers collected there).

But before I donate the archives, I want to use them as a springboard to discuss with you, my readers, Chicago issues still relevant today.

You’ll find these posts on my latest Blog CHICAGO: A VIEW OVER TIME.

On this site you can:

  • Read my print articles—magazines, literary journals, and newspapers.
  • Find out more about my television productions that have motivated, inspired, and educated millions of viewers.
  • Read the Family Archaeologist Blog: Follow this “dig” into twentieth century history as revealed through original letters, diaries, photos, and artifacts. In these stories, you may recognize much of your own family’s past and the impact of history on ordinary folks.  I hope you’ll be  inspired to learn more.
  • Read “Letters of a World War II Airman” BlogOriginal letters to and from my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, navigator-in-training, from 1943-1945. Follow the course of the war, life on the home front, and the evolution of a neighborhood kid into seasoned airman.

Writing about Chicago
for readers around the world

A true story of love, forgiveness, and
the racial and sexual revolutions of the 1960s

This is the working title of my book. It’s about our family’s twentieth century life on Chicago’s West Side, where two generations staked their future.

I search through long-hidden letters and diaries to discover how madness, loneliness, and my parents’ devotion to work in a devastated landscape claw at their happiness, as they struggle to cope with the racial and social revolutions of the 1960s. 



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What people are saying

Real words from real readers!
  • As I begin to catalogue, pitch or absorb two big boxes of memorabilia of my parents, at least 10 years sitting on the floor in our office, i will think about the great job you have done of bringing your family to life and rescuing a part of history we have all shared. You are an inspiration!
  • Linda, at the start of a New Year, when I get to thinking about the old year in review, I can’t help but think of the blogs I’ve enjoyed reading the most. Yours has definitely been one of them. I’ve had the opportunity to designate your blog as a “Blog of the Year 2012” and want to thank you for sharing all that you’ve written on your family history.
  • I love the way your writing keeps drawing us forward in the story. We get to experience history as it happens, anticipating cataclysms the participants could never have foreseen.

“Wouldn’t all of us love to have a journal, a memoir, a letter, from those we have loved and lost?”

— Anna Quindlin
Newsweek Magazine
January 22, 2007


I am a member and past
board member of
Off Campus Writer’s Workshop

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