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72) Bachin's purpose here is not so much to provide a detailed historical overview of the creation of the University of Chicago, although she does do that, but rather to show the ways in which contending elites held competing values whose ultimate resolution was reflected in both the built environment and the creation of a new public culture for Progressive-era America.
3] As she wrote in her "Preface" to Contending Forces, the novel is a "simple, homely tale, unassumingly told, which cements the bonds of brotherhood among all classes and complexions.
The complicated plot of Contending Forces follows a mixed-race family from early 19th-century slavery in the West Indies and the southern United States to early 20th-century Massachusetts.