Dominic A. Pacyga presents his new book American Warsaw alongside Sara Paretsky at the American Writers Museum on December 10, 2019

Dominic A. Pacyga: American Warsaw

With American Warsaw, award-winning historian and Polish American DOMINIC A. PACYGA chronicles more than a century of immigration, and later emigration back to Poland, showing how the community has continually redefined what it means to be Polish in Chicago. Pacyga will be joined by bestselling writer SARA PARETSKY. This program is part of the Jeanne M. and John W. Rowe Program Series, in conjunction with our special exhibit My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today. Books will be sold and signed at the event.

About American Warsaw:

Pacyga takes us from the Civil War era until today, focusing on how three major waves of immigrants, refugees, and fortune seekers shaped and then redefined the Polonia. Pacyga also traces the movement of Polish immigrants from the peasantry to the middle class and from urban working-class districts dominated by major industries to suburbia. He documents Polish Chicago’s alignments and divisions: with other Chicago ethnic groups; with the Catholic Church; with unions, politicians, and city hall; and even among its own members. And he explores the ever-shifting sense of Polskość, or “Polishness.”

Today Chicago is slowly being eclipsed by other Polish immigrant centers, but it remains a vibrant—and sometimes contentious—heart of the Polish American experience. American Warsaw is a sweeping story that expertly depicts a people who are deeply connected to their historical home and, at the same time, fiercely proud of their adopted city. As Pacyga writes, “While we were Americans, we also considered ourselves to be Poles. In that strange Chicago ethnic way, there was no real difference between the two.”

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, 1880–1922Chicago: 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.

The event is finished.


Dec 10 2019


6:30 pm


$12 General Admission; Members Free

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American Writers Museum Readers Hall
180 N. Michigan Ave., 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL
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4 thoughts on “Dominic A. Pacyga: American Warsaw

  1. raymond tarantula says:

    i am a chef in new jersey i have a question for prof. Dominic
    can you get me his professional e mail address at the school

    • American Writers Museum says:

      Hi Raymond,

      Thanks for reaching out. We cannot distribute contact information for the authors that we host in our space for privacy reasons. Keep an eye on our YouTube page in the coming months for clips of the upcoming program, as he may answer your question in his talk.

      Best of luck!

  2. Joseph W. Pacyga says:

    Just wondering what if any Pacyga’s played in the days leading up, during and post world war 2. Were any sent to the death camps and what roles did they play.

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