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A Backyard Prairie: The Hidden Beauty of Tallgrass and Wildflowers Fred Delcomyn and James L. Ellis

All the makings of natural wonder in your backyard

$24.50, 128 pages, 115 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3818-4 E-book: 978-0-8093-3819-1

In 2003 Fred Delcomyn imagined his backyard of two and a half acres, farmed for corn and soybeans for generations, restored to tallgrass prairie. Over the next seventeen years, Delcomyn, with help from his friend James L. Ellis scored, seeded, monitored, reseeded, and burned these acres into prairie. In A Backyard Prairie, they document their journey and reveal the incredible potential of a backyard to travel back to a time before the wild prairie was put into plow rows. It has been said, “Anyone can love the mountains, but it takes a soul to love the prairie.” This book shows us how. The first book to celebrate a smaller, more private restoration, A Backyard Prairie offers a vivid portrait of what makes a prairie. Delcomyn and Ellis

describe selecting and planting seeds, recount the management of a prescribed fire, and capture the prairie’s seasonal parades of colorful flowers in concert with an ever-growing variety of animals, from the minute eastern tailed-blue butterfly to the imperious red-winged blackbird and the reclusive coyote. This book offers a unique account of their work and their discovery of a real backyard, an inviting island of grass and flowers uncovered and revealed. We often travel miles and miles to find nature larger than ourselves. In this rich account of small prairie restoration, Delcomyn and Ellis encourage the revival of original prairie in our backyards and the patient, beauty-seeking soul sleeping within ourselves.

Both Fred Delcomyn and James L. Ellis serve on the board of directors of Grand Prairie Friends, a conservation organization in east-central Illinois involved in prairie restoration projects.

“Cultivating and learning about the rich life of the prairies, grasslands that once occupied most of the Midwest, inspired in Fred Delcomyn and James L. Ellis a love and appreciation that they transmit beautifully through the pages of this lovely book. Their adventures come alive here, providing a model for others eager to understand the plants and animals, the original inhabitants of the lands where we live and farm today..”

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—Peter H. Raven, author of Biology of Plants


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Snake Road: A Field Guide to the Snakes of LaRue-Pine Hills Joshua J. Vossler Visiting the mecca of snake watching

$19.50, 168 pages, 355 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3805-4 E-book: 978-0-8093-3806-1

Twice a year, spring and fall, numerous species of reptiles and amphibians migrate between the LaRue–Pine Hills’ towering limestone bluffs and the Big Muddy River’s swampy floodplain in southern Illinois. Snakes, especially great numbers of Cottonmouths, give the road that separates these distinct environments its name. Although it is one of the best places in the world to observe snakes throughout the year, spring and fall are the optimal times to see a greater number and variety. Among the many activities that snakes can be observed doing are sunning themselves on rocks, lying in grasses, sheltering under or near fallen tree limbs, or crossing the road. In this engaging guide, author Joshua J. Vossler details what to expect and how to make the

most of a visit to what is known around the world as Snake Road. Vossler catalogs twenty-three native snake species by both common and scientific names, lists identifying features, and estimates the probability of spotting them. Throughout this book, stunning color photographs of each species’ distinctive physical characteristics enable identification by sight only, an important feature, since Illinois law prohibits the handling, harming, or removal of reptiles and other wildlife on and around the road. Visitors can keep track of the snakes they have identified by using the checklist in the back of the book. A list of recommended reading provides sources of additional information about snakes in southern Illinois and beyond.

Joshua J. Vossler, an associate professor and academic librarian at Southern Illinois

University Carbondale, is the coauthor of Humor and Information Literacy: Practical Techniques for Library Instruction. He specializes in making instructional videos about research skills. He is a lifelong snake watcher and herpetological enthusiast.

“I absolutely love how this field guide is organized. . . . What Vossler came up with is not only unique, but extremely user-friendly for a novice herpetologist.” —Dustin Siegel, Herpetological Review

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“[A]n ideal and unreservedly recommended DIY identification guide—and a critically important selection for personal, professional, community, college, and university library herpetology collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.” —James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

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The Irish in Illinois

Mathieu W. Billings and Sean Farrell

The first statewide history of the Irish in the Prairie State Today over a million people in Illinois claim Irish ancestry and celebrate their love for Ireland. In this concise narrative history, authors Mathieu W. Billings and Sean Farrell bring together both familiar and unheralded stories of the Irish in Illinois, highlighting the critical roles these immigrants and their descendants played in the settlement and the making of the Prairie State. Short biographies and twenty-eight photographs vividly illustrate the significance and diversity of Irish contributions to Illinois. Billings and Farrell remind us of the countless ways Irish men and women have shaped the history and culture of the state. They fought in the French and Indian $24.50, 270 pages, 28 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3799-6 E-book: 978-0-8093-3800-9

War, the American Revolution, the Civil War, and two world wars; built the state’s infrastructure and worked in its factories; taught Illinois children and served the poor. Irish political leaders helped to draw up the state’s first constitution, served in city, county, and state offices, and created a machine that dominated twentieth-century politics in Chicago and the state. This lively history adds to our understanding of the history of the Irish in the state over the past two hundred fifty years. Illinoisans and Midwesterners celebrating their connections to Ireland will treasure this rich and important account of the state’s history.

Mathieu W. Billings is a faculty associate in the history and political science department at the University of Indianapolis. Sean Farrell is a professor of history at Northern Illinois University. He is the author

of Rituals and Riots: Sectarian Violence and Political Culture in Ulster, 1784–1886 and a coeditor of Shadows of the Gunmen: Violence and Culture in Modern Ireland.

“The Irish in Illinois is a model of meticulously detailed, informed and informative scholarship. Thoroughly ‘reader friendly’ in organization and presentation, [this book] is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to... collections in general, and Illinois History supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular.”

Coming soon:

—Wisconsin Bookwatch


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Germans in Illinois

Miranda E. Wilkerson and Heather Richmond This engaging history of one of the largest ethnic groups in Illinois explores the influence and experiences of German immigrants and their descendants from their arrival in the middle of the nineteenth century to their heritage identity today. Coauthors Miranda E. Wilkerson and Heather Richmond examine the primary reasons that Germans came to Illinois and describe how they adapted to life and distinguished themselves through a variety of occupations and community roles. Exploring the complex and ever-evolving

$24.50, 234 pages, 34 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3721-7 E-book: 978-0-8093-3722-4

German American identity in the growing diversity of Illinois’s linguistic and ethnic landscape, this book contextualizes their experiences and corrects widely held assumptions about assimilation and cultural identity. Federal census data, photographs, lively biographical sketches, and newly created maps bring the complex story of German immigration to life. The generously illustrated volume also features detailed notes, suggestions for further reading, and an annotated list of books, journal articles, and other sources of information.

Miranda E. Wilkerson is an associate professor of language and communication studies at Columbia College in Missouri. Her articles have been published in the Journal of English Linguistics and the Journal of Transnational American Studies. Heather Richmond is a certified archivist with the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Poles in Illinois

John Radzilowski and Ann Hetzel Gunkel Illinois boasts one of the most visible concentrations of Poles in the United States. Chicago is home to one of the largest Polish ethnic communities outside Poland itself. Yet no one has told the full story of our state’s large and varied Polish community—until now. Poles in Illinois is the first comprehensive history to trace the abundance and diversity of this ethnic group throughout the state from the 1800s to the present. With forty-seven photographs and an ample

number of extensive excerpts from first-person accounts and Polish newspaper articles, this captivating, highly readable book illustrates important and often overlooked stories of this ethnic group in Illinois and the changing nature of Polish ethnicity in the state over the past two hundred years. Illinoisans and Midwesterners celebrating their connections to Poland will treasure this rich and important part of the state’s history.

John Radzilowski is a professor of history at the University of Alaska and the author or coauthor of sixteen books, including Poles in Minnesota and A Traveller’s History of Poland.

$24.50, 244 pages, 48 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3723-1 E-book: 978-0-8093-3724-8

Ann Hetzel Gunkel is an award-winning associate professor of cultural studies and humanities at Columbia College Chicago and a former Fulbright Professor at the Jagiellonian University. Her essays have appeared in Popular Music and Society and Polish American Studies. She serves on the editorial boards of Polish American Studies and Ad Americam: Journal of American Studies.

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The Loop: The “L” Tracks that Shaped and Saved Chicago Patrick T. Reardon

The structure that anchors Chicago

$26.95, 312 pages, 32 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3810-8 E-book: 978-0-8093-3811-5

In engagingly brisk prose, Patrick T. Reardon unfolds the fascinating story about how Chicago’s elevated Loop was built, gave its name to the downtown, helped unify the city, saved the city’s economy, and was itself saved from destruction in the 1970s. This unique volume combines urban history, biography, engineering, architecture, transportation, culture, and politics to explore the elevated Loop’s impact on the city’s development and economy and on the way Chicagoans see themselves. The Loop rooted Chicago’s downtown in a way unknown in other cities, and it protected that area—and the city itself— from the full effects of suburbanization during the second half of the twentieth century. Masses of data underlie new insights into

what has made Chicago’s downtown, and the city as a whole, tick. The Loop features a cast of colorful Chicagoans, such as legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow, poet Edgar Lee Masters, mayor Richard J. Daley, and the notorious Gray Wolves of the Chicago City Council. Charles T. Yerkes, an often-demonized figure, is shown as a visionary urban planner, and engineer John Alexander Low Waddell, a world-renowned bridge creator, is introduced to Chicagoans as the designer of their urban railway. This fascinating exploration of how one human-built structure reshaped the social and economic landscape of Chicago is the definitive book on Chicago’s elevated Loop.

For more than three decades Patrick T. Reardon was an urban affairs writer, a feature writer, a columnist, and an editor for the Chicago Tribune. In 2000 he was one of a team of 50 staff members who won a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. Now a freelance writer and poet, he has contributed chapters to several books and is the author of Faith Stripped to Its Essence. His website is

“This exceptional book enables us to see, as if for the first time, something that is right under our noses. It is almost impossible to imagine downtown Chicago and the Loop ‘L’ without each other, and Patrick T. Reardon explains just why that is so in a lively narrative full of information and insights.”

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—Carl Smith, author of Chicago’s Great Fire: The Destruction and Resurrection of an Iconic American City


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Tales of Forgotten Chicago Richard C. Lindberg Hidden gems from Chicago’s past

$24.95, 280 pages, 24 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3781-1 E-book: 978-0-8093-3782-8

Tales of Forgotten Chicago contains twenty-one fascinating, little-known stories about a great city and its people. Richard C. Lindberg has dug deeply to reveal lost historical events and hidden gems from Chicago’s past. Spanning the Civil War through the 1960s, the volume showcases forgotten crimes, punishments, and consequences: poisoned soup that nearly killed three hundred leading citizens, politicians, and business and religious leaders; a woman in showbiz and her street-thug husband whose checkered lives inspired a 1955 James Cagney movie; and the first police woman in Chicago, hired as a result of the senseless killing of a young factory girl in a racially tinged case of the 1880s. Also included are tales of industry and invention, such as America’s first automobile

race, the haunting of a wealthy Gilded Age manufacturer’s mansion, and the identity of the telephone’s rightful inventor. Chapters on the history of early city landmarks spotlight the fight to save Lakefront Park and how “Lucky” Charlie Weeghman’s North Side baseball park became Wrigley Field. Other chapters explore civic, cultural, and political happenings: the great Railroad Fairs of 1948 and 1949; Richard J. Daley’s revival of the St. Patrick’s Day parade; political disrupter Lar “America First” Daly; and the founding of the Special Olympics in Chicago by Anne Burke and others. Finally, some are just wonderful tales, such as a touching story about the sinking of Chicago’s beloved Christmas tree ship. Engrossing and imaginative, this collection opens new windows into the past of the Windy City.

Richard C. Lindberg is an award-winning author, journalist, and lecturer who has

written nineteen other books about Chicago history, politics, criminal justice, sports, and ethnicity. The 2011 memoir of his Northwest Side boyhood, Whiskey Breakfast: My Swedish Family, My American Life, was named nonfiction book of the year by the Chicago Writer’s Association.

“This book is full of engaging pleasures. It’s a mustread for anyone drawn to Chicago history.”

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—Greg Borzo, author of Chicago’s Fabulous Fountains

“A compilation of stories of a little-known other side of Chicago—a side that is infinitely more interesting.” —Richard F. Bales, author of The Great Chicago Fire and the Myth of Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow

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Edith: The Rogue Rockefeller McComick Andrea Friederici Ross Chicago’s quirky patron saint

The story of Edith Rockefeller McCormick, daughter of John D. Rockefeller, is that of a woman who strove for the independence to make her own choices. Rejecting the limited gender role carved out for her, she forged her own path, despite pushback from her family and ultimate financial ruin. After marrying Harold McCormick, Edith spent lavishly. The couple purchased treasures like the jewels of Catherine the Great, entertained in their Chicago mansion, and founded both the Chicago Grand Opera and the John R. McCormick Memorial Institute for Infectious Diseases. Societal and personal issues caused Edith to experience phobias and panic attacks. Dissatisfied with 248 pages, 34 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3862-7, $22.95 Cloth: 978-0-8093-3790-3, $29.95 E-book: 978-0-8093-3791-0, $22.95

rest cures, she moved her family to Zurich and pursued analysis with then-unknown Carl Jung, becoming his leading patron. While in Europe she funded up-and-coming musicians, artists, and writers, including James Joyce as he wrote Ulysses. Later, in Chicago, Edith donated land for what would become Brookfield Zoo. Her pursuit of humanitarian goals ultimately provoked her family to cut her off financially. Respectful and truthful, Ross presents the full arc of this amazing woman’s life and expertly explains Edith’s generosity, intelligence, and fierce determination to change the world.

Andrea Friederici Ross is the author of Let the Lions Roar! The Evolution of Brookfield Zoo. A native of the Chicago area and a graduate of Northwestern University, Ross works in a grade school library, where she encourages young readers to develop a lasting love of books.

“‘Unusual woman’ is only a hint to whom readers will meet in the book. It is filled with family members and recipients of her patronage who have their own views of Edith and her spending. She acquired costly jewels and antiques but was also interested in affordable housing for young, first-time home buyers.” —Jodie Jacobs, Chicago Theater and Arts

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“A deeply researched, briskly readable account of the life of Chicago grande dame Edith Rockefeller McCormick. . . . This is fascinating, stranger-than-fiction Chicago history, and a pageturner. Can’t wait for the miniseries it’s sure to inspire.” —Deanna Isaacs, Chicago Reader


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Chicago Heights: Little Joe College, the Outfit, and the Fall of Sam Giancana Charles Hager with David T. Miller A rare insider account of life inside the Chicago Mob

$22.95, 184 pages, 14 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3672-2 E-book: 978-0-8093-3673-9

In this riveting true story of coming of age in the Chicago Mob, Charles “Charley” Hager is plucked from his rural West Virginia home by an uncle in the 1960s and thrown into an underworld of money, cars, crime, and murder on the streets of Chicago Heights. Street-smart and good with his hands, Hager is accepted into the working life of a chauffeur and “street tax” collector, earning the moniker “Little Joe College” by notorious mob boss Albert Tocco. But when his childhood friend is gunned down by a hit man, Hager finds himself a bit player in the events surrounding the mysterious, and yet unsolved, murder of mafia chief Sam Giancana. Chicago Heights is part rags-to-riches

story, part murder mystery, and part redemption tale. Hager, with author David T. Miller, juxtaposes his early years in West Virginia with his life in crime, intricately weaving his own experiences into the fabric of mob life, its many characters, and the murder of Giancana. Fueled by vivid recollections of turf wars and chop shops, of fix-ridden harness racing and the turbulent politics of the 1960s, Chicago Heights reveals similarities between high-level organized crime in the city and the corrupt lawlessness of Appalachia. Hager candidly reveals how he got caught up in a criminal life, what it cost him, and how he rebuilt his life back in West Virginia despite a prison record.

Charles Hager gradually worked his way from sweeping up his uncle’s bar to earning responsibility and trust as a friend of the Chicago Outfit. He left the Heights in 1975 and built a series of successful businesses in West Virginia and North Carolina. David T. Miller is a writer and editor based in Lexington, Kentucky. He contributed to several books and edited Earned in Blood: My Journey from Old-Breed Marine to the Most Dangerous Job in America by Thurman Miller.

“[A] candid, revealing, and up-close statement about gangster life on the fringe. It’s not a world of glamour and the Godfather. It’s tough. It’s gritty. It’s violent and it’s often ugly.”

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—Richard C. Lindberg, author of Gangland Chicago: Criminality and Lawlessness in the Windy City

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Chicago’s Fabulous Fountains Greg Borzo. Photographs by Julia Thiel.

Celebrating the panoply of fountains in the Windy City Most people do not realize it, but Chicago is home to many diverse, artistic, fascinating, and architecturally and historically important fountains. In this attractive volume, Greg Borzo reveals more than one hundred outdoor public fountains of Chicago with noteworthy, amusing, or surprising stories about these gems. Complementing Borzo’s engagingly written text are around one hundred beautiful fine-art color photos of the fountains, taken by photographer Julia Thiel for this book, and a smaller number of historical photos. Plazas all around Chicago—in the $24.50, 270 pages, 27 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3799-6 E-book: 978-0-8093-3800-9

neighborhoods as well as downtown— have fountains that anchor communities or enhance the skyscrapers they adorn. Also presented are the fountains in Chicago’s parks, some designed by renowned artists and many often overlooked or taken for granted. A beautiful photography book and a guide to the city’s many fountains, Chicago’s Fabulous Fountains also provides fascinating histories and behind-the-scenes stories of these underappreciated artistic and architectural treasures of the Windy City.

Greg Borzo is an award-winning journalist, an editor, and the author of The Chicago “L,” Chicago Cable Cars, and other books about Chicago, where he has lived most of his life.

“Is it possible that Chicagoans—residents of a river town with a glorious lakefront—are particularly drawn to water? As this book demonstrates, we certainly have a love affair with fountains. And this is the book fountain lovers have been waiting for.” —Geoffrey Baer, Program Host and Producer, WTTW Channel 11 Chicago

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“Who knew that fountains live lives of drama! Some are cherished, and some are forgotten. Many have friends, but some have sworn enemies. Some are beautiful; some need a facelift. We move fountains; we discard fountains; we even lose fountains. A few lucky fountains get a comeback. Thanks to Greg Borzo, every time you see a fountain, you will wonder, ‘What’s its story?” —Gary T. Johnson, President, Chicago History Museum


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Black Writing from Chicago: In the World, Not of It? Edited by Richard R. Guzman

Black Writing from Chicago takes readers on a cultural trip through Chicago’s literary history. Editor Richard R. Guzman compiles the first comprehensive collection of the works of Chicago’s black writers from 1861 to the early 21st century. The anthology, which includes works from newspaper writing, poetry, fiction, drama, essays, and historical and social commentary, seeks not only to represent a broad range of writings but also to focus tightly on such themes as hope and despair, racism and equality, $22.95, 360 pages Paper: 978-0-8093-2704-1

spirituality and religion. More than sixty writers, from the anonymous “J. W. M. (Colored)” to Ken Green, unfold a story that reflects the literary periods in black American history. Each author’s selection is preceded by a biographical and a bibliographical introduction. Readers interested in Chicago, race relations, and literature, as well as scholars of history, sociology, urban studies, and cultural studies, will find the collection invaluable.

Richard R. Guzman is a professor of English and the coordinator of the master of arts in liberal studies and the master of leadership studies programs at North Central College. He is a coeditor of Smokestacks and Skyscrapers: An Anthology of Chicago Writing.

When Race Becomes Real: Black and White Writers Confront Their Personal Histories Edited by Bernestine Singley

$22.00, 352 pages, 30 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-2885-7 E-book: 978-0-8093-8736-6

When Race Becomes Real is a critically acclaimed collection that pushes the boundaries of current discussions about race. In these personal and evocative essays, thirty contemporary black and white writers describe their own intimate experiences with race and discrimination, taking an unflinching look at both society and themselves. The result is an incisive and powerful anthology that rethinks what it means to be black—and white—in the modern world. Only through frank and tough conversation, Singley tells us, can America hope to realize its goals of justice and racial equality. This

collection opens that much-needed honest dialogue, exploring a wide range of racial experiences in relation to a myriad of topics: from crime and religion to humor, history, and desire. When Race Becomes Real directly tackles one of our most taboo subjects with bravery, wit, and emotion. Sometimes shocking, sometimes amusing but always honest, this collection encourages readers to move beyond the ineffective reluctance and objectivity that hinder contemporary conversations and in doing so forge a new path in racial consciousness.

Bernestine Singley has been assistant attorney general in both Massachusetts and Texas. She is currently at work on two novels and a collection of short stories.

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In Their Letters, in Their Words: Illinois Civil War Soldiers Write Home Edited by Mark Flotow Illinois State Historical Society Book of the Year Award Winner, 2020

$26.50, 320 pages, 12 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3763-7 E-book: 978-0-8093-3764-4

A vital lifeline to home during the Civil War, the letters of soldiers to their families and friends remain a treasure for those seeking to connect with and understand the most turbulent period of American history. Rather than focus on the experiences of a few witnesses, this impressively researched book documents 165 Illinois Civil War soldiers’ and sailors’ lives through the lens of their personal letters. Editor Mark Flotow chose a variety of letter writers who hailed from counties throughout the state, served in different branches of the military at different ranks, and represented the gamut of social experiences and war outcomes. Flotow provides extensive quotations from the letters and allows soldiers to speak for themselves. Illinois soldiers wrote about their reasons for enlisting; the nature of training

and duties; necessities like eating, sleeping, marching, and making the best of often harsh and chaotic circumstances; Southern culture; slavery; their opinions of commanding officers and the president; disease, medicine, and hospitals; their prisoner-of-war experiences; and the ways they left the army. Through letters from afar, many soldiers sought to manage their homes and farms, while some single men attempted to woo their sweethearts. Flotow includes brief biographies for each soldier quoted in the book, weaves historical context and analysis with the letters, and organizes them by topic. Thus, intimate details cited in individual letters reveal their significance for those who lived and shaped this tumultuous era. The result is not only insightful history but also compelling reading.

Mark Flotow is an adjunct research associate in anthropology at the Illinois State

Museum and a volunteer interviewer with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library’s oral history program. Flotow has published articles about Illinois Civil War soldiers in Illinois Heritage and has given many presentations on the topic.

“Mark Flotow does so much more than is typical of a book of Civil War letters.” —Dave Page, Journal of America’s Military Past

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“Walt Whitman famously once wrote about the Civil War that ‘the real war will never get in the books.’ If Mark Flotow’s new edited volume does not capture ‘the real war,’ then it is doubtful that any book ever will.” —Cameron Sauers, Cleveland Review of Books


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Lincoln’s New Salem Benjamin P. Thomas Shipping early November

This authoritative classic tells the story of the Illinois village on the Sangamon River in which Abraham Lincoln lived from 1831 to 1837. Benjamin P. Thomas’s three-part examination of the town often referred to as Lincoln’s “alma mater” features the founding and early history of New Salem, Lincoln’s impact on the village and its effect on him, and the story of the Lincoln legend and the reconstruction of the town. Making the point that New Salem was where Lincoln acquired faith in himself and in other people, Thomas introduces us to those who 218 pages, 21 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3859-7, $16.95 Cloth: 978-0-8093-3860-3, $28.50 E-book: 978-0-8093-3861-0, $16.95

created New Salem and who knew, influenced, and befriended Lincoln, delving into his relationships with his neighbors and the loyal friends who often came to his aid. First published in 1934 and revised by the author in 1954, this reissue includes a previously unpublished piece about New Salem and Illinois governor Henry Horner by Benjamin Thomas, a new introduction by Kenneth J. Winkle, and new photos by Robert Shaw, in addition to original drawings by Romaine Proctor and a 1971 foreword by Ralph G. Newman.

Benjamin P. Thomas (1902–1956), a lifetime Lincoln scholar, is best known for his defin-

itive Abraham Lincoln: A Biography. For many years he was the secretary of the Abraham Lincoln Association.

Forgetting and the Forgotten: A Thousand Years of Contested Histories in the Heartland Michael C. Batinski Shipping January 2022

$28.50, 256 pages, 8 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3837-5 E-book: 978-0-8093-3838-2 Shawnee Books

Histories try to forget, as this evocative study of one community reveals. Forgetting and the Forgotten details the nature of how a community forged its story against outsiders. Historian Michael C. Batinski explores the habits of forgetting that enable communities to create an identity based on silencing competing narratives. The white settlers of Jackson County, Illinois, shouldered the hopes of a community and believed in the justice of their labor as it echoed the national story. The county’s pastkeepers, or keepers of the past, emphasizing the white

settlers’ republican virtue, chose not to record violence against Kaskaskia people and African Americans and to disregard the numerous transient laborers. Instead of erasing the presence of outsiders, the pastkeepers could offer only silence, but it was a silence that could be broken. Batinski’s historiography critically examines local historical thought in a way that illuminates national history. What transpired in Jackson County was repeated in countless places throughout the nation.

Michael C. Batinski is the author of Pastkeepers in a Small Place: Five Centuries in Deerfield, Massachusetts, among others.

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Complete Your Concise Lincoln Library President Abraham Lincoln ordered the largest mass execution of Indigenous people in American history, following the 1862 uprising of hungry Dakota in Minnesota and suspiciously speedy trials. He also issued the largest commutation of executions in American history for the same act. But there is much more to the story of Lincoln’s interactions and involvement, personal and political, with Native Americans, as Michael S. Green shows. His evenhanded assessment explains how Lincoln thought about Native Americans, interacted with them, and was affected by them. At best, Lincoln’s record is mixed. He served in the Black Hawk War against tribes who were combating white encroachment. Later he supported

policies that exacerbated the situation. Finally, he led the United States in a war that culminated in expanding white settlement. Although as president, Lincoln paid less attention to Native Americans than he did to African Americans and the Civil War, the Indigenous population received considerably more attention from him than previous historians have revealed. In addition to focusing on Lincoln’s personal and familial experiences, such as the death of his paternal grandfather at the hands of Indians, Green enhances our understanding of federal policies toward Native Americans before and during the Civil War and how Lincoln’s decisions affected what came after the war.

Michael S. Green, an associate professor of history at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is the

$24.95, 176 pages, 10 illustrations author or editor of three books on the Civil War, including Lincoln and the Election of 1860 and Politics Cloth: 978-0-8093-3825-2 and America in Crisis: The Coming of the Civil War. E-book: 978-0-8093-3826-9

$24.95, 192 pages, 9 illustrations Cloth: 978-0-8093-3812-2 E-book: 978-0-8093-3813-9


At its most basic level, citizenship is about who belongs to a political community, and for Abraham Lincoln in nineteenth-century America, the answer was in flux. The concept of “fellow citizens,” for Lincoln, encompassed different groups at different times. In this book, Mark E. Steiner analyzes and contextualizes Lincoln’s evolving views about citizenship over the course of his political career. For years Lincoln presumed that only white men belonged in the political and civic community, and he saw immigration through this lens. Unlike many in the antebellum north, Lincoln rejected xenophobia and nativism. He opposed black citizenship, however, as he made clear in his debates with Stephen Douglas. Yet, as president, Lincoln came to embrace a

broader vision of citizenship for African Americans. Steiner establishes how Lincoln’s meetings at the White House with Frederick Douglass and other black leaders influenced his beliefs about colonization, which he ultimately disavowed, and citizenship for African Americans, which he began to consider. Further, the battlefield success of black Union soldiers revealed to Lincoln that black men were worthy of citizenship. Lincoln publicly called for limited suffrage among black men, including military veterans, in his speech about Reconstruction on April 11, 1865. Ahead of most others of his era, Lincoln showed just before his assassination that he supported rights of citizenship for at least some African Americans.

Mark E. Steiner is the author of An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln. He twice has been awarded Fulbright scholarships. Steiner is actively involved in pro bono efforts to assist immigrants on the path toward citizenship.

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More from the Concise Lincoln Library

“An excellent series of compact books. . . . I own all volumes and haven’t been disappointed by a single one of them.” —Tom Peet, author of Reading Lincoln

“Reading SIU Press’s Concise Lincoln Library offers something for every thirst. Deep drinkers and first-time students of the Civil War and Lincoln studies will come back for more, and this series will more than fill the glass.” —William Furry, executive director, Illinois State Historical Society

Now in Paperback

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The Flesh Between Us

Tory Adkisson Eroticism cut from classical mythology, ritual, and intimacy

$16.95, 92 pages Paper: 978-0-8093-3842-9 E-book: 978-0-8093-3843-6 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Winner

In The Flesh Between Us the speaker explores our connections to each other, whether they be lovely or painful, static or constantly shifting, or, above all, unavoidable and necessary. Intensely and unapologetically homoerotic in content and theme, The Flesh Between Us sensuously conducts the meetings between strangers, between lovers, between friends and family, between eater and eaten, between the soul and the body that contains it. Pushing the boundaries of what has been traditionally acceptable for gay and erotic content and themes, the poems adapt persona, Greek mythology, Judaism, and classic poetic forms to interrogate the speaker’s relationship to god and faith, to love and sex, to mother and father. Stark and mythical, the imagery draws from the language of animals and nature.

Tory Adkisson’s work has been featured in anthologies such as Best New Poets and Queer Nature. His poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, the Adroit Journal, Los Angeles Review, Boston Review, and Cimarron Review.

“Tory Adkisson’s poems are fervent, vulnerable. He illuminates the ‘wilderness of flesh’ that divides and connects us. I found myself leaning closer to his lyricism, his courage, his inventiveness. The Flesh Between Us is a powerful debut, rich with language that startles, lingers.” —Eduardo C. Corral, author of Guillotine


Episodes of kink tangle with creatures of forests and lore. In this tumult, the lines of poetry keep a sense of boundary and distance by the seeming incompatibility of their subjects: daybreak and dissection, human and insect, worship and reality. The touch of irreconcilable bodies, in Adkisson’s language, intimates the precise moment of love. The idea of love moves viscerally through rib, lung, throat, and mouth. The poems show how flesh opens in so many ways, in prayers, in bleeds, in ruts. The flesh, opened, begins to swell. If there is guilt in this, Adkisson’s poems refuse the placid satisfaction of confession. Whatever attachments the reader dares to draw must be made with blade or tongue. The reader must commit to the potential violence narrated by these poems.

“Adkisson lets readers revel in the sumptuous pleasures of his lines but recognizes each of these intimacies comes with an inevitable departure that is, yes, cruel, but also sweet. These losses are like this book: unforgettable.” —Traci Brimhall, author of Rookery and Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod

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The Kitchen of Small Hours Derek N. Otsuji Reimagining the elusive American dream

$16.95, 90 pages Paper: 978-0-8093-3840-5 E-book: 978-0-8093-3841-2 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition Winner

In The Kitchen of Small Hours, Derek N. Otsuji embraces the fragility and endurance of a family of immigrants from two prefectures in Japan: Kagoshima in the south and Okinawa, an island more than four hundred miles from the mainland. In these poems, five generations sing, save, scold, bury, and cook against the culture and history that emerged from the pineapple and sugar cane plantations of mid-nineteenth-century Hawaii, from the bomb-scapes and hatreds of World War II, and from the canning and tourism industry of the twentieth century. Otsuji writes of how his family used stories and rugged cheer to fill the spaces apart from the cane fields and the canning factory. Their recipes, rituals, celebrations, songs, dances, myths, and family stories

Derek N. Otsuji, was awarded the 2019 Tennessee Williams Scholarship from

the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He received the Editor’s Choice Award for poems published in the fortieth-anniversary issue of Bamboo Ridge, the longest running independent literary journal in Hawaii. His poems have appeared in Rhino, Missouri Review, Indiana Review, Pleiades, and the Threepenny Review.

“Derek N. Otsuji’s The Kitchen of Small Hours is largely an exercise in honoring the dead. Moving lyrics pop off the page, propelled by the momentum of the past.” —Chris McKinney, author of The Tattoo and Midnight, Water City

passed from grandmother to father to son, who folds them into lyrics. Here too are whispers, failures, and traceable absences: a face removed from photos, a love silenced to be acceptable, a dead firstborn housed in an urn. There are things that no one intended to give. Otsuji’s language hungers for them anyway. The haunting reunions between author and ancestor sink just as deep as roots and hold just as fast. The cooking pot, the family photo, the moon recur as images that feed and comfort. Lyrical and warm, Otsuji’s voice sounds out a sinew of words that make the remnants of heritage and home durable. In these poems each new generation seeks to reimagine for itself the elusive American Dream.

“The Kitchen of Small Hours proves what many fans of Otsuji already knew: he is one of the most talented poets currently writing in Hawaiʻi. This beautifully crafted book casts an ‘inner light’ on family and food, culture and tradition, death and dreams. Like ‘ink brushed on rice paper,’ these words reveal truths that only poetry ‘gives us eyes to see.’” —Craig Santos Perez, author of Habitat Threshold

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Catherine Pond Sexual identity, female friendship, and queer experiences of love Fraught with obsession, addiction, and unrequited love, Catherine Pond’s Fieldglass immerses us in the speaker’s transition from childhood to adulthood. A queer coming-of-age, this collection is a candid exploration of sexual identity, family dynamics, and friendships that elude easy categorization, offering insight on the ambiguous nature of identity. Saturated by her surroundings and permeated by the emotional lives of those close to her, the speaker struggles with feelings of displacement, trauma, and separateness. She is perpetually in transit,

with long drives, flights, and train rides— moving most often between the city and the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. As the collection unfolds, the speaker journeys toward adulthood, risking intimacy and attempting to undo her embedded impulses toward silence and absorption. Reflective, graceful, and understated, Pond’s images accumulate power through restraint and suggestion. Deeply personal and intense, searching and yearning, associative and lyric, Fieldglass is a confessional about growing up, loving hard, and letting go.

Catherine Pond is a cofounder, with Julia Anna Morrison, of the online literary $16.95, 90 pages Paper: 978-0-8093-3814-6 E-book: 978-0-8093-3815-3 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award Winner

magazine Two Peach. For four years, she was the assistant director of the New York State Summer Writers Institute. Her poems have appeared in AGNI, The Adroit Journal, Poetry Northwest, and Salmagundi, among others.

“The poems in Fieldglass are astonishing in their honesty, and I devoured their fearlessness greedily. Pond charts fantasy, family, and the painful trust and powerful abandonments that teach us what love is. Concise, lyrical, and rife with compelling turns, this book brings the world close and helps you see it, helps you know it, helps you bear its truths.” —Traci Brimhall, author of Rookery and Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod


“With this single breathtaking debut, Catherine Pond has taken her place among the most powerful, visionary, and inventive poets of her generation. Her poetry, with its visceral lyric grace and nuanced modulations, recalls the work of a young Louise Glück in its naked disquiet, its sense of imagistic reflection, and its arresting beauty. Often gestural, elliptical, and devastating, Pond’s poems assemble into luminous constellations of echoing loss. Gripping Fieldglass in your hands, it is impossible ever to look away.” —David St. John, author of The Last Troubadour: Selected and New Poems

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The Bonds of War: A Story of Immigrants and Esprit de Corps in Company C, 96th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Diana L. Dretske

When Diana L. Dretske discovered that the five long-gone Union soldiers in a treasured photograph in the Bess Bower Dunn Museum were not fully identified, it compelled her into a project of recovery and reinterpretation. Utilizing an impressive array of local and national archives, as well as private papers, the author’s microhistorical approach records events that often go unnoticed, such as a farmer enlisting in the middle of a crop field, a sister searching her brother’s face for signs of war, and an immigrant dying in an effort to become a good American citizen.

$26.50, 276 pages, 23 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3820-7 E-book: 978-0-8093-3821-4

The Bonds of War uncovers the common soldier from the cataclysm that is the American Civil War by offering a collective biography of five soldiers, immigrants from the British Isles who wished to be citizens of a country at war with itself. The human drama of their lives unfolds on battlefields such as Chickamauga and within the high pine stockades of Andersonville. Their lives argue that those who seem to matter least in military history are the very ones who can tell us the most about the experience of war and the reasons for remembering.

Diana L. Dretske curator and Lake County historian at the Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County, has explored, for more than thirty years, the history of northeastern Illinois through her research, presentations, and blog. Her books include Lake County, Illinois: An Illustrated History and Views of America: Fort Sheridan.

Matchless Organization: The Confederate Army Medical Department Guy R. Hasegawa

Despite the many obstacles it had to overcome—including a naval blockade, lack of a strong industrial base, and personnel unaccustomed to military life—the Richmond-based Confederate Army Medical Department developed into a robust organization that nimbly adapted to changing circumstances. In the first book to address the topic, Guy R. Hasegawa describes the organization and management of the Confederate army’s medical department. At its head was Surgeon General Samuel Preston Moore, a talented multitasker with $26.50, 282 pages, 20 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3829-0 E-book: 978-0-8093-3830-6


the organizational know-how to put in place qualified medical personnel to care for sick and wounded Confederate soldiers. During and after the war, the medical department of the Confederate army was consistently praised as being admirably organized and efficient. Although the department was unable to match its Union counterpart in manpower and supplies, Moore’s intelligent management enabled it to help maintain the fighting strength of the Confederate army.

Gyu R. Hasegawa, a retired pharmacist and editor, is the author of Villainous Compounds: Chemical Weapons and the American Civil War and Mending Broken Soldiers: The Union and Confederate Programs to Supply Artificial Limbs.

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The Impulse of Victory: Ulysses S. Grant at Chattanooga David A. Powell How Grant secured a Tennessee victory and a promotion

$34,50, 264 pages, 29 illustrations Cloth: 978-0-8093-3801-6 E-book: 978-0-8093-3802-3 World of Ulysses S. Grant

Union soldiers in the Army of the Cumberland, who were trapped and facing starvation or surrender in the fall of 1863, saw the arrival of Major General Ulysses S. Grant in Tennessee as an impetus to reverse the tides of war. David A. Powell’s sophisticated strategic and operational analysis of Grant’s command decisions and actions shows how his determined leadership relieved the siege and shattered the enemy, resulting in the creation of a new strategic base of Union operations and Grant’s elevation to commander of all the Federal armies the following year. Powell’s detailed exploration of the Union Army of the Cumberland’s six-week-long campaign for Chattanooga is complemented by his careful attention to the personal issues Grant faced at the time

and his relationships with his superiors and subordinates. Though unfamiliar with the tactical situation, the army, and its officers, Grant delivered another resounding victory. His success, explains Powell, was due to his tactical flexibility, communication with his superiors, perseverance despite setbacks, and dogged determination to win the campaign. Through attention to postwar accounts, Powell reconciles the differences between what happened and the participants’ memories of the events. He focuses throughout on Grant’s controversial decisions, showing how they were made and their impact on the campaign. As Powell shows, Grant’s choices demonstrate how he managed to be a thoughtful, deliberate commander despite the fog of war.

David A. Powell, an expert on the battle of Chickamauga, is the author of nine books on the Civil War, including The Chickamauga Campaign trilogy as well as Battle above the Clouds: Lifting the Siege of Chattanooga and the Battle of Lookout Mountain, October 16–November 24, 1863. He is vice president of Airsped, Inc., a specialized delivery firm. “In this engagingly written account of the Chattanooga campaign, Powell transitions seamlessly between the tactical and strategic levels of war, recounting the mud and blood of the battlefield as well as the rancor and resentment among the commanders.” —Harry S. Laver, U.S. Army Command and General Staff School, author of A General Who Will Fight: The Leadership of Ulysses S. Grant


“David A. Powell concisely and insightfully demonstrates how Grant, with both persistence and flexibility, led troops from three different Union armies to gain a significant victory.” —Sam Davis Elliott, author of John C. Brown of Tennessee: Rebel, Redeemer, and Railroader

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Ulysses S. Grant: A Photographic History by James Bultema. Read more at Use code HOLIDAY at to save 40% and get free shipping on orders over $75 through 1/2/2022


Women Making War: Female Confederate Prisoners and Union Military Justice Thomas F. Curran Partisan activities of disloyal women and the Union army’s reaction

During the American Civil War, hundreds of women were arrested and imprisoned by the Union Army in the St. Louis area. The majority of them were fully aware of the political nature of their actions and had made conscious decisions to assist Confederate soldiers in armed rebellion against the U.S. government. Their crimes included offering aid to Confederate soldiers, smuggling, spying, and sabotaging. By determining that women— who were excluded from the politics of the public sphere—were capable of treason, Federal authorities implicitly acknowledged $26.50, 274 pages, 18 illustrations Paper: 978-0-8093-3803-0 E-book: 978-0-8093-3804-7

that they acted in ways that had serious political meaning. In addition to analyzing the activities that led to arrests, the reactions women partisans evoked from the Federal authorities who confronted them, and the impact women’s partisan activities had on Federal military policy and military prisons, Thomas F. Curran reveals how these women’s experiences were later disregarded in order to comport with a Lost Cause myth: the need for valiant men to protect defenseless women.

Thomas F. Curran has taught in the department of social studies at Cor Jesu Academy in St. Louis since 2003, and before that he taught at Saint Louis University and the University of Notre Dame. For eight years he served as managing editor of the Journal of Policy History. Curran is the author of Soldier of Peace: Civil War Pacifism and the Postwar Radical Peace Movement.

“Women Making War is an excellent piece of historical writing.” —Stephanie McCurry, author of Women’s War: Fighting and Surviving the American Civil War

“Curran’s meticulous research adds new dimensions to our understanding of politics, loyalty, and gender in wartime. It is a must-read for anyone who wants a better understanding of the roles that women played during the Civil War.” —Jonathan W. White, author of Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams during the Civil War

“Anchored by a variety of entertaining and informative primary sources, Curran reminds us that there is still more to explore about female agency in directing the course of the Civil War.” —Victoria E. Ott, author of Confederate Daughters: Coming of Age during the Civil War


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Vicksburg Besieged

Edited by Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear The end of the Vicksburg Campaign and the forty-day siege In the first anthology to examine the Vicksburg Campaign’s final phase, nine prominent historians and emerging scholars provide in-depth analysis of previously unexamined aspects of the historic siege. Ranging in scope from military to social history, the contributors’ invitingly written essays examine the role of Grant’s staff, the critical contributions of African American troops to the Union Army of the Tennessee, both sides’ use of sharpshooters and soldiers’ opinions about them, unusual nighttime activities between the Union siege lines and Confederate defensive positions, the use of West Point siege theory and the ingenuity of Midwestern $29.50, 200 pages, 16 illustrations Cloth: 978-0-8093-3783-5 E-book: 978-0-8093-3784-2 Civil War Campaigns in the West

soldiers in mining tunnels under the city’s defenses, the horrific experiences of civilians trapped in Vicksburg, the Louisiana soldier’s defense of Jackson amid the strains of piano music, and the effect of the campaign on Confederate soldiers from the Trans-Mississippi region. Editors Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear, along with their contributors—Andrew S. Bledsoe, John J. Gaines, Martin J. Hershock, Richard H. Holloway, Justin S. Solonick, Scott L. Stabler, and Jonathan M. Steplyk—give a rare glimpse into the often overlooked operations at the end of the most important campaign of the Civil War.

Steven E. Woodworth, a professor of history at Texas Christian University, has authored, coauthored, or edited more than thirty books on the Civil War era. Charles D. Grear, a professor of history at Central Texas College, has written extensively on Texas and the Civil War. Together they coedit the Civil War Campaigns in the West series. Read more at

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