Chicago Stories-logo

Chicago Stories


The stories of everyday Chicagoans as told to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The stories of everyday Chicagoans as told to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.


United States


The stories of everyday Chicagoans as told to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.




Ep. 95: Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Thanks for listening! On this final episode of "Chicago Stories," Mayor Emanuel swapped mics with legendary broadcaster Bill Kurtis for a look back on his own life and career, from his first steps in politics, to the countless lessons he learned in the White House, and everything else in between. Tune in as Mayor Emanuel gives his take on Chicago's larger-than-life political culture, his advice to young people, and what it was like serving the greatest people in the greatest city on Earth.


Ep. 94: Nancy Pelosi Rules

How do you win the speaker's gavel twice? One vote at a time. Tune in as Mayor Emanuel sits down with the one and only Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for a wide-ranging discussion on politics and power, leadership and public service, and why after over 30 years in public life she’s still going strong.


Ep. 93: Theaster Gates's Community Canvas

Theaster Gates is many things, but he doesn’t see it that way. Tune in as Mayor Emanuel talks to the world-famous artist about connecting art with neighborhood development, discovering the spiritual life of abandoned spaces, and the “aha” moment that brought it all together.


Ep. 92: Chemi Peres and the Empires of Tomorrow

Chemi Peres is a man on a mission. Tune in as Mayor Emanuel speaks with the venture capitalist and chairman of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation about impact investing and peace through technology, Israel and its recent elections, and his work in advancing his father’s legacy of visionary leadership.


Ep. 91: Richard Haass's Global Vision

Foreign policy is never what it used to be. Tune in as Mayor Emanuel joins Council on Foreign Relations president Dr. Richard Haass for a sweeping conversation on America's evolving role since the Cold War, his advice for 2020 candidates, how to prioritize big problems, and the blurring lines between foreign and domestic policy, along with much more.


Ep. 90: Helene Gayle is Making a Difference

Dr. Helene Gayle has made a career out of making a difference. Tune in as she and Mayor Emanuel talk about her early career fighting HIV/AIDS, how to create inclusive economic growth, what brought her to Chicago, and her vision as president of the Chicago Community Trust.


Ep. 89: David Haugh and All Things Chicago Sports

Chicago is the best sports town on Earth. Period. Tune in as Mayor Emanuel and sportswriter and radio host David Haugh dive into the dizzying highs and crushing lows that comes with being a fan in this city, from our greatest coaches, to our unsung teams, what they'd do if they were in the owners box, their outlook on this season, and much more.


Ep. 88: Eddie Bocanegra's Day of Atonement

Eddie Bocanegra's life is a story of choices, mistakes, leadership, and redemption. Tune in as he tells Mayor Emanuel about his transformation from gang member and convicted felon, to trailblazing leader at the Heartland Alliance's READI Chicago program, the role of faith and family, trauma and violence, healing, opportunity, and hope.


Ep. 87: Gerald Rosenberg, the Supreme Court and Social Change

Think the Supreme Court brings about social change? Think again. Tune in as Mayor Emanuel sits down with Supreme Court historian and scholar Gerald Rosenberg to talk about the true impact of landmark cases, the court's long history of politicization, the big decisions he's watching, RBG, and much more.


Ep. 86: Alex Kotlowitz and "An American Summer"

Author Alex Kotlowitz burst into the public 25-years-ago with his seminal work "There Are No Children Here." Now he's out with its bookend, "An American Summer," about the lives affected by gun violence. Tune in as Alex and Mayor Emanuel share a honest discussion about the causes and solutions of gun violence, along with the stories of love, hope, redemption, and grace that live in between.


Ep. 85: Thomas Friedman and the "New-New"

"Order vs. Disorder." "Non-Linear Accelerations." "Mirroring Mother Nature." Mayor Emanuel was joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author Thomas Friedman for a spirited conversation about the complex forces shaping our world, where they came from, and how to sustainably navigate where they're going.


Ep. 84: Kyle Longley, LBJ's Legacy, and Presidential Centers

It's been 50 years since Lyndon Johnson's presidency, but his impact continues to reverberate across our culture, politics, and society to this day. Tune in as historian and director of the LBJ Presidential Library Kyle Longley takes a deep dive with Mayor Emanuel into incredible complexities and legacy of the larger-than-life 36th President of the United States.


Ep. 83: Chris Jones and Chicago Theater

Everyone knows about the connections between politics and performance, but it turns out mayors and theater critics have a lot in common as well. At the start of both Chicago Theatre Week and the Year of Chicago Theatre, the great drama critic Chris Jones sat down with Mayor Emanuel to talk all things theater, from his favorite up-and-coming companies, to the politics of theater in new book "Rise Up,” the impact of the Internet, and—of course—what makes Chicago the greatest theater town in...


Ep. 82: Martha Nussbaum and the Monarchy of Fear

Famed political and moral philosopher Martha Nussbaum stopped by City Hall for a conversation with Mayor Emanuel about ideas and ideals, the role of philosophers in the public arena, and the churning emotions of our political moment she laid out in latest book, "The Monarchy of Fear."


Ep. 81: Ben Bernanke and the Great Recession

Ben Bernanke’s goal during the Financial Crisis was simple: get people back to work. Doing it was a lot more complicated. Tune as Mayor Emanuel and the former Fed Chair take a deep dive into the heady days of the Great Recession, its turbulent politics and policy successes, along with a look at its powerful legacy, and much, much more.


Ep. 80: Nick Cave and the Art of Chicago

"I look at space as I would look at the way in which one choreographs a work." Renowned visual and performance artist Nick Cave dropped by City Hall to talk to Mayor Emanuel about how he approached his immersive new work at the CTA's Garfield Green 'L' Station, as well as look back at the origins of his iconic "Soundsuits," how failure continues to be necessary to his artistic development, and much more.


Ep. 79: Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Leadership and National Service

What makes a good leader? Do we create false leaders? What role does context play in leadership? Gen. Stanley McChrystal joined Mayor Emanuel for a fascinating conversation on the myths and realities of leadership and how they continue to shape our society today. Tune in as they also discuss striking the right balance between civilian leadership and the military, share a captivating retelling of Al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and advocate for creating a universal national service.


Ep. 78: Comedian Pat McGann Loves His Job

You know Pat McGann, whether you know him or not. On this week’s episode Mayor Emanuel sits down with the Beverly-native to hear how he went from selling boxes to telling jokes, along with his take on Chicago humor, how his family's an endless supply of material, and why comedy resonates so strongly today.


Ep. 77: Rahm Emanuel and the Ragin’ Cajun

Trump! House Dems! Rural voters! Liberal hubris! Ohio! 2020! Legendary political strategist James Carville dropped by City Hall for some lively shop talk with Mayor Emanuel on everything under the political sun, from strategy and values, to the importance of story, their take on past political figures, along with a whole lot more.


Ep. 76: Josh Noel and the Craft of Beer

Recorded in Begyle Brewing Company on Chicago's "Malt Row," Mayor Emanuel and beer writer Josh Noel plunged into Josh's new book, Barrel-Aged Stout and Selling Out, to explore the story behind craft brewing, the community it created, which new Chicago taprooms to keep an eye on, all while sipping a few samples along the way.