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Polish Immigrants and Industrial Chicago: Workers on the South Side, 1880-1922
     

Polish Immigrants and Industrial Chicago: Workers on the South Side, 1880-1922

by Dominic A. Pacyga, Dominic Pacyga
 
How did working-class immigrants from Poland create new communities in Chicago during the industrial age? This book explores the lives of immigrants in two iconic South Side Polish neighborhoods -- the Back of the Yards and South Chicago -- and the stockyards and steel mills in which they made their living. Pacyga shows how Poles forged communities on the South Side

Overview

How did working-class immigrants from Poland create new communities in Chicago during the industrial age? This book explores the lives of immigrants in two iconic South Side Polish neighborhoods -- the Back of the Yards and South Chicago -- and the stockyards and steel mills in which they made their living. Pacyga shows how Poles forged communities on the South Side in an attempt to preserve the customs of their homeland; how through the development of churches, the building of schools, the founding of street gangs, and the opening of saloons they tried to recreate the feel of an Eastern European village. Through such institutions, Poles also were able to preserve their folk beliefs and family customs. But in time, the economic hardships of industrialization forced Poles to reach out to their non-Polish neighbors. And this led, in large part, to the organization of labor unions in Chicago's steel and meatpacking industries.

Editorial Reviews

Journal of American Ethnic History

"A well-organized, thoughtful work which amply demonstrates the author's command of the literature on labor, social, and class history. . . . Pacyga illustrates better than any previous author the relationship of Polish behavior in America to the traditional values and practices of Polish peasant society in Europe."

— James S. Pula

Journal of American History

“Its outstanding quality is the description of the life of its subjects. . . . [Pacyga] offers a graphic and vivid picture of what it was like for an unskilled, blue-collar foreign worker to labor in the arduous and dangerous environments of the slaughterhouse and the steel mill at the turn of the century”—Victor Greene, The Journal of American History

August 2005 - The History Teacher

“A classic social history of one immigrant community. Yet it also links the experiences of Poles on the South Side of Chicago to broader elements of social, class, and labor history. [Pacyga’s] work offers important insights into American history during the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era.”

American Historical Review

“Scholars who have followed the recent scholarship of Lizabeth Cohen’s Making a New Deal (1990) and of Robert A. Slayton’s Back of the Yards (1986) will wish to study Pacyga’s valuable monograph in more detail.”—Joseph J. Parot, American Historical Review

Journal of American Ethnic History - James S. Pula

"A well-organized, thoughtful work which amply demonstrates the author's command of the literature on labor, social, and class history. . . . Pacyga illustrates better than any previous author the relationship of Polish behavior in America to the traditional values and practices of Polish peasant society in Europe."
The Journal of American History - Victor Greene

“Its outstanding quality is the description of the life of its subjects. . . . [Pacyga] offers a graphic and vivid picture of what it was like for an unskilled, blue-collar foreign worker to labor in the arduous and dangerous environments of the slaughterhouse and the steel mill at the turn of the century”

American Historical Review - Joseph J. Parot

“Scholars who have followed the recent scholarship of Lizabeth Cohen’s Making a New Deal (1990) and of Robert A. Slayton’s Back of the Yards (1986) will wish to study Pacyga’s valuable monograph in more detail.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814205419
Publisher:
Ohio State University Press
Publication date:
07/01/1991
Series:
Urban Life and Urban Landscape Ser.
Pages:
298
Product dimensions:
6.19(w) x 9.31(h) x 0.94(d)

Meet the Author


Dominic A. Pacyga is a faculty member in the Liberal Education Department at Columbia College. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books on the history of Chicago, including The Chicago Bungalow, Chicago: City of Neighborhoods, and Chicago's Southeast Side.

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