Illinois State Library

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Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Adam Mack  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

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Illinois Connection

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

Biographical and Professional Information

Adam Mack joined School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Liberal Arts Department in 2007. He is the author of ''Sensing Chicago: Noisemakers, Strikebreakers, and Muckrakers'', the first multisensory history of the Windy City. His initial work in sensory history dealt with American supermarkets and the sensory landscape of the post-World War II suburbs. His articles on the senses and suburban consumer culture include ''Speaking of Tomatoes: Supermarkets, the Senses, and Sexual Fantasy in Modern America'' in the ''Journal of Social History'', ''The Politics of Good Taste: Whole Foods Markets and Sensory Design'' in ''The Senses & Society'' and ''The Senses in the Marketplace: Commercial Aesthetics for a Suburban Age'' in ''A Cultural History of the Senses in the Modern Age'' edited by David Howes.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Sensing Chicago: Noisemakers, Strikebreakers, and Muckrakers (Studies in Sensory History)
ISBN: 0252080750

University of Illinois Press. 2015

A hundred years and more ago, 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 events: 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.