Sunday, January 3, 2010

Getting Re-Educated about Chicago's History

Chicago: A BiographyI have a terrible habit of trying to multitask just about everything.  Reading is no different for me.  It's not uncommon for me to be reading two or even three books during the same time period.

When I do this, though, I try to pick my books wisely.  I may have a novel I'm working on plus a book that helps me learn something, and maybe another book that has daily devotionals or lessons.  If you ask me, learning books are best read in small doses.  I find that I retain more of the knowledge that way.

With that said, I am currently reading Chicago: A Biography by Dominic A. Pacyga while I'm reading Yada Yada book #3.

As I stated in a past post, I'm a sucker for books about the great city of Chicago, and I have Dr. Pacyga to thank for that.  I am proud to say that I've taken Dr. Pacyga's History of Chicago class at Columbia College Chicago.  While I was interested in the history of the city, Dr. Pacyga brought a whole new dimension to my grasp of the history, and the lessons he taught made a huge impression on this student.

That's why I was so excited to hear that he published a book about the history of Chicago.  Now Dr. Pacyga has published many books in the past about the city which are wonderful (about Polish immigrants and neighborhoods, in particular Bridgeport, and other niche topics), but this book is more broad in the topics about Chicago that it covers, kind of like his class.

Dr. Pacyga's book is more of a "Chicago - This Is Your Life".  It's done in biography form which makes the reading go by fast.

I can honestly say that reading this book is much like taking his class.  When I read it, I feel like I'm back in the second row of seats as a student hearing him lecture.  No book could ever replace the experience of being in his class, but it definitely enhances the memory.'s giving me a great refresher about the city!

Currently, I'm about 24 pages into the book.  The way I see it, it took me 12 weeks to take Dr. Pacyga's class so I'm in no big hurry to quickly finish reading it.

If you're wondering, I completed Dr. Pacyga's class in the winter of 1999 with a B+ which I am proud of to this day.  His History of Chicago class is not for light-weight students, and I was grateful for the additional challenge in my academic career.

Oh -- and if you happen to find this post Dr. Pacyga -- I am still waiting for the day that you decide to sell t-shirts that say "I Survived Dominic Pacyga's History of Chicago Class."  I'd be proud to wear it!

To view this book on, please click the following link:
Chicago: A Biography

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