American Warsaw: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of Polish Chicago

Date(s) - 01/30/20
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

University Club of Chicago

Hosted by

American Warsaw: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of Polish Chicago

The Bookstall

Thursday, January 30, 2020 – 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Dean of Chicago history Dominic Pacyga will talk about his latest book, American Warsaw: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of Polish Chicago, at a lunch at the University Club on Thursday, January 30, at 12 p.m. This is a ticketed event. Call The Book Stall at 847-46-8880 for reservations or to order a signed copy of the book. The University Club has a business casual dress code; no denim please.

Dominic A. Pacyga is professor emeritus of history in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago. His books include Polish Immigrants and Industrial Chicago: Workers on the South Side, 1881-1922Chicago: A Biography; and Slaughterhouse: Chicago’s Union Stock Yard and the World It Made, all from the University of Chicago Press. Pacyga is the 2014 Mieczyslaw Haiman Award winner for exceptional and sustained contribution to the study of Polish Americans.

“There’s probably not a person in the United States–and certainly not in Chicago–more qualified than Dominic Pacyga to document the path Poland’s citizens took in emigrating to the United States. .  . Through tireless research, Pacyga develops a perhaps unintended thesis: that the current issues of the immigrant in Chicago and in the United States have been played out in cycles over the last century-and-a-half. . . . It’s haunting to discover in American Warsaw that history and language have repeated themselves. The Poles at the beginning of the twentieth century are now the Mexicans, Central Americans, Ethiopians and Syrians in Chicago a century later.”–Newcity

American Warsaw is something new and necessary, a book Chicago didn’t know it needed until it showed up. American Warsaw chronicles the unique nature of Chicago’s ‘Polonia’–its community of Poles and Polish descendants outside of Poland. Pacyga tells the story of how Chicago came to have such a large Polish population, and to even be considered a part of Poland in exile, the ‘fourth partition’ of a country that had been divided between Prussia, Austria and Russia before 1918. Chicago was ‘Poland elsewhere, ‘ where immigrants juggled becoming American with trying to hang on to their sense of Polishness, or polskosc.”  –Notable Book of 2019 Chicago Tribune.