Author Essays, Interviews, and Excerpts, Chicago, History

Two local authors on Chicago Tonight

For two consecutive nights WTTW’s Chicago Tonight has featured interviews with University of Chicago Press authors from our regional list. On Wednesday evening Dominic A. Pacyga was invited on the show to discuss his fascinating new chronicle of our fair city in Chicago: A Biography. A south side native who spent his college years working at the Union Stock Yards, in his new book Pacyga offers a comprehensive catalog of the city’s great industrialists, reformers, and politicians, while giving voice to the city’s steelyard workers and kill floor operators as well.
And on Thursday, Liam T. A. Ford made an appearance to talk about his account of one of the most prominent of Chicago’s landmarks in Soldier Field: A Stadium and Its City. As Ford tells it, the tale of Soldier Field truly is the story of Chicago, filled with political intrigue and civic pride. More than just the home of ‘da Bears, Ford’s book traces the stadium’s multiple roles as both one of the city’s most important a cultural centers—drawing crowds of thousands for everything from rodeos and NASCAR races, to Catholic masses, and political rallies—to a bargaining chip for city politicians from the infamous Mayor “Big Bill” Thompson, to Mayor Daley himself, as the stadium played a central (albeit short-lived) role in the city’s bid for the 2016 Olympic games.
Check out the videos below or navigate to the Chicago Tonight website to watch.

Liam T. A. Ford

Dominic A. Pacyga

Also see this gallery of photographs from Pacyga’s book.