Theo Anderson

I write case studies for Columbia Business School and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. I also write short case studies for businesses and nonprofits, including The Polis Center, a research unit of Indiana University.

My other writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Wilson Quarterly, Crain's Chicago, Virginia Magazine, the University of Chicago's Sightings, the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza Business, Kellogg Insight, On Wisconsin, Salon, and other publications.

Since 2010, I've been a contributing writer at the Chicago-based magazine In These Times, and I volunteer regularly at Taproot, which offers pro bono creative services to Chicago-area nonprofits. My most recent project was a brochure for WTTW, Chicago’s premiere public broadcaster.

My Ph.D. dissertation at Yale focused on politics and religion in the early twentieth-century U.S. I’ve taught seminars on history, journalism, politics, the philosophy of William James, and the work of David Foster Wallace; and I’ve given presentations about pragmatism and politics at Yale, the University of California-San Diego, the University of Illinois-Chicago, and Northeastern Illinois University.

I'm finishing a novel set in Portland, Maine. Visit my personal website at Contact me at

Joshua Salzmann


I write about history and current events in Chicago. Since 2012, I have been a professor at Northeastern Illinois University where I teach classes on topics including: American cities, crime and violence, natural and built environments, and the history of capitalism.

My scholarly articles have appeared in academic journals such as Enterprise and Society: The International Journal of Business History; LABOR; and the Journal of Illinois History. I have also authored essays and editorials for The Chicago Tribune; Crain’s Chicago Business: In These Times; and the Smithsonian’s What it Means to Be American.

In 2017, I published a book, Liquid Capital: Making the Chicago Waterfront, with the University of Pennsylvania Press. It shows how, through a combination of entrepreneurship, civic spirit, and bareknuckle politics, the Chicago waterfront became a hub of economic and cultural activity while also the site of many of the nation's precendent-setting decisions about public land use and environmental protection. In 2018, the Illinois State Historical Association honored my book with a prize for “Superior Scholarly Achievement.”

I have given lectures at the Chicago Maritime Museum, the annual meeting of the American Public Works Association, and numerous academic conferences. I have also appeared on WBEZ’s Curious City.

I am currently working on a book about health and safety regulations (issues such as guns, sex, smoking, and child safety) in Chicago from 1968 to the present. Contact me at