Cover for Mack: Sensing Chicago: Noisemakers, Strikebreakers, and Muckrakers. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

Sensing Chicago

Noisemakers, Strikebreakers, and Muckrakers
Awards and Recognition:

Award of Superior Achievement, Illinois State Historical Society, 2016

Urban history from amidst the oleaginous perfume, greasy exudations, and black froth of a growing metropolis

A hundred years ago and more, a walk down a Chicago street invited an assault on the senses. Untiring hawkers shouted from every corner. The manure from thousands of horses lay on streets pooled with molasses and puddled with kitchen grease. Odors from a river gelatinous and lumpy with all manner of foulness mingled with the all-pervading stench of the stockyard slaughterhouses.

In Sensing Chicago, Adam Mack lets fresh air into the sensory history of Chicago in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by examining five case studies: the Chicago River, the Great Fire, the 1894 Pullman Strike, the publication of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, and the rise and fall of the White City amusement park. His vivid recounting of the smells, sounds, and tactile miseries of city life reveals how input from the five human senses influenced the history of class, race, and ethnicity in the city. At the same time, he transports readers to an era before modern refrigeration and sanitation, when to step outside was to be overwhelmed by the odor and roar of a great city in progress.

"Demonstrates how much of the sensory field of an earlier era can be reconstructed, and why doing so can be of interest."--Inside Higher Ed

"Sensing Chicago is expertly researched yet accessible to readers of all backgrounds, and a welcome addition to public and college library urban history shelves."--Midwest Book Review

"In Sensing Chicago, Mack tells the familiar story of Chicago's rise to preeminence from a different perspective. Asking the questions and employing the methods common to sensory history, Mack presents an alternative vision of life in the industrial metropolis. . . . Mack's discussion of noises, smells, and other sensate phenomena yield's a number of original insights."--Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Volume 47, Number 1, Summer 2016

"A significant contribution to urban studies and a persuasive application of sensory history methods and questions to a particularly appropriate case study. It changes our understanding of the history and particularly the experience of life in the industrial city."--James R. Barrett, author of The Irish Way: Becoming American in the Multiethnic City

"Adam Mack puts the senses and sensations at the center of this vivid exploration of social distinction and the regulation of the noxious in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Chicago. This highly evocative work in sensory studies highlights the politics of perception, the changing sensescape of the city, and some intriguing experiments in sensory rejuvenation."--David Howes, co-author of Ways of Sensing: Understanding the Senses in Society

Adam Mack is assistant professor of History in the Department of Liberal Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

To order online:

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
When Public Housing Was Paradise

Building Community in Chicago

J. S. Fuerst, with the assistance of D. Bradford Hunt

Before the Ivy

The Cubs' Golden Age in Pre-Wrigley Chicago

Laurent Pernot

The Negro in Illinois

The WPA Papers

Edited by Brian Dolinar

Organized Crime in Chicago

Beyond the Mafia

Robert M. Lombardo

Indian Metropolis

Native Americans in Chicago, 1945-75

James B. LaGrand

Chicago River Bridges

Patrick T. McBriarty

Chicago in the Age of Capital

Class, Politics, and Democracy during the Civil War and Reconstruction

John B. Jentz and Richard Schneirov

AIA Guide to Chicago

American Institute of Architects Chicago Edited by Alice Sinkevitch and Laurie McGovern Petersen

Neoliberal Chicago

Edited by Larry Bennett, Roberta Garner, and Euan Hague

The Rise of the Chicago Police Department

Class and Conflict, 1850-1894

Sam Mitrani

Picturing Illinois

Twentieth-Century Postcard Art from Chicago to Cairo

John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle

Waiting for Buddy Guy

Chicago Blues at the Crossroads

Alan Harper

Becoming the Second City

Chicago's Mass News Media, 1833-1898

Richard Junger

A City Called Heaven

Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music

Robert M. Marovich

Sensing Chicago ebook is available for immediate download from the following vendors:
Barnes & Noble
Google Play