Reader: Chaos theory

By Ben Joravsky, February 7, 2023

How far will Chicago dare to go in its experiment with democracy?

A black and white photo of City Hall with politicians in suits standing to mics while others against the wall and around the room watch on.

One of the more revealing scenes in City So Real—Steve James’s insightful documentary about Chicago politics, takes place in a Gold Coast penthouse.

It’s 2019. And James, chronicling the last mayoral election, is filming a dinner party hosted by Christie Hefner.

They’re talking politics and one of the guests—Norman Bobins, a retired banker—opines that no matter who wins the upcoming election, he hopes we don’t return to the days of Mayor Harold Washington.