Tied to the Great Packing Machine

Tied to the Great Packing Machine : The Midwest and Meatpacking

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Ambitious in its historical scope and its broad range of topics, "Tied to the Great Packing Machine" tells the dramatic story of meatpacking's enormous effects on the economics, culture, and environment of the Midwest over the past century and a half. Wilson Warren situates the history of the industry in both its urban and its rural settings - moving from the huge stockyards of Chicago and Kansas City to today's smaller meatpacking communities - and thus presents a complete portrayal of meatpacking's place within the larger agroindustrial landscape. Writing from the vantage point of twenty-five years of extensive research, Warren analyzes the evolution of the packing industry from its early period, dominated by the big terminal markets, through the development of new marketing and technical innovations that transformed the ways animals were gathered, slaughtered, and processed and the final products were distributed. In addition, he concentrates on such cultural impacts as ethnic and racial variations, labor unions, gender issues, and changes in Americans' attitudes toward the ethics of animal slaughter and patterns of meat consumption and such environmental problems as site-point pollution and microbe contamination, ending with a stimulating discussion of the future of American meatpacking. Providing an excellent and well-referenced analysis within a regional and temporal framework that ensures a fresh perspective, "Tied to the Great Packing Machine" is a dynamic narrative that contributes to a fuller understanding of the historical context and contemporary concerns of an extremely important industry.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 566.99g
  • University of Iowa Press
  • Iowa, United States
  • English
  • REV.
  • 10 photos, 19 tables, 7 maps
  • 1587295369
  • 9781587295362

Review quote

Warren expands upon the geographical framework that he established in "Struggling with Iowa's Pride " by exploring how today s meatpacking industry created two very different bases of smaller towns and larger cities, each playing a different role in the gathering of live animals, their slaughtering and processing, and the distribution of finished products. Along with this analytical breakthrough, he incorporates the environmental and cultural impacts of the industry within a regional and temporal framework that makes a genuine contribution to scholarly literature. Accessibly written, flowing easily and comfortably, Warren s extensively researched narrative will be eagerly read by scholars and discerning activists, from politicians and economists to union organizers. Peter Rachleff, author of "Hard-Pressed in the Heartland: The Hormel Strike and the Future of the Labor Movement ""show more

About Wilson J. Warren

Wilson Warren is associate professor of history at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. A native of Ottumwa, Iowa, he has published several articles and one previous book on meatpacking, Struggling with "Iowa's Pride": Labor Relations, Unionism, and Politics in the Rural Midwest since 1877 (IOWA, 2000). He is also the coauthor of Ottumwa and Teaching History in the Digital Classroom.show more

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