Bill Bryson, One Summer America 1927, New York: Doubleday, 2013. This is good background for the period of the play. It discusses a number of things noted in Jerry’s letters including, Lindberg’s crossing the Atlantic, Tunney-Dempsey fight, the Red Scare and the Sacco and Vanzetti case, Babe Ruth.
St. Sukie de la Crois, Chicago Whispers: A History of LGBT Chicago Before Stonewall, Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012. This study includes a detailed account of the leadership role played generally by women and LGBT peoples in Chicago’s Tower Town neighborhood in the 1920s.
Newberry Library, Inventory of the Dill Pickle Club Records, 1906-1941, Bulk 1915-1935. This collection contains material relating to the Dill Pickle Club of Chicago and its founder, Jack Jones (a character in “Dear Rhoda”). It includes, handbills announcing events, art work, clippings, letters, photographs and poetry.
Albert Parry, Garrets and Pretenders: Bohemian Life in America from Poe to Kerouac, New York: Dover Publications, 1960. This book includes a history of the Bohemian life style in the U.S. Chapter XVII, The Dill Pickle and the End of Chicago, focuses on a number of the characters who are in the play.
Ben Reitman, Sister of the Road: The Autobiography of Boxcar Bertha, Oakland: AK Press/Nabat Books, 2002. The basis for one of the play’s characters
Kenneth Rexroth, An Autobiographical Novel, New York: Doubleday, 1966. The memoir of the poet and artist Kenneth Rexroth includes detailed accounts of life in Chicago’s Near North side in the 1920s including his experience at the Dil Pickle and other clubs in Chicago’s Tower Town neighborhood.
Franklin Rosemont, The Rise and Fall of the Dil Pickle Club: Chicago’s Wild 20’s. First hand accounts of Jerry and Rhoda’s favorite hang out.
Carl Sandburg, The American Songbag, New York: Harcourt Brace, 1927. Carl Sandburgs collection of traditional American folk songs that he sang along with his poetry readings.
Carl Sandburg, Honey and Salt, New York: Harcourt Brace, 1953, 1963. A source for some of Carl Sandburg’s poems used in the play.
Carl Sandburg, The People, Yes, New York: Harcourt Brace, 1936, 1964. A source for some of Carl Sandburg’s poems used in the play.
Fred W. Thompson and Patrick Murfin, The IWW: Its First Seventy Years, 1905-1975, self published, 1976.