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Dominic Pacyga traces Chicago stockyards history in 'Slaughterhouse'

Dominic Pacyga traces Chicago stockyards history in 'Slaughterhouse'

From the moment Jean Baptiste Point du Sable founded a trading post on the mouth of a river, Chicago has been a city undergoing change and rapid development. But few have burrowed as deeply into the city's DNA as the Union Stock Yard and Packingtown.

For tourists in the late 19th and early 20th century, "the yards" were as symbolic of Chicago as Al Capone and Michael Jordan were in their times. And the stockyards remain a point of civic pride with scores of local residents, 44 years after they shut down.

The history of the stockyards is the subject of Dominic Pacyga's "Slaughterhouse: Chicago's Union Stock Yard and the World it Made." For Pacyga, a...