Category Archives: Personal

Anti-War and Anti-German Sentiment in Illinois in World War I


When the United States entered World War I in April 1917 the overall population of Illinois firmly supported the American war effort; however, there were persistent anti‑war and pro‑German sentiments expressed by some in the state. The state had a … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Nauvoo Polygamy: ‘but we called it celestial marriage'”


Nauvoo Polygamy: “but we called it celestial marriage.” By George D. Smith. Signature Books, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2008. Introduction, photographs, appendices, footnotes, bibliography, index. ix + 705 pp. ISBN: 978-1-56085-201-8. Hardcover with dustjacket. $39.95. Plural marriage, or polygamy, among … Continue reading

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Celebrity Activism in Sports and Society


It is almost a truism in modern America that celebrities engage in various causes aimed at overcoming various challenges plaguing society. Much of this is accepted and even celebrated. As often as not, it is the result of a unique … Continue reading

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Summer Reading: Indispensable Books on the History of the Space Shuttle


When NASA began work on what became the Space Shuttle at the end of the Apollo program, few recognized how important a part of American life it would become over the next thirty-plus years. While not vast, the literature on … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “A Little History of the World”


A Little History of the World. By E.H. Gombrich. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1985 ed. When A Little History of the World first appeared in 1942 it caused quite a stir. It was viewed as an excellent introduction … Continue reading

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An Intimate Past?


A debate has been taking place among historians for many years about the nature of the past and perceptions of it, both by historians and by the larger public. Some have insisted that it is, and I find this term … Continue reading

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Mormonism and the Founding of Nauvoo


During the bitter winter of 1838-1839 some 5,000 Latter-day Saints crossed the Mississippi River from Missouri and settled in western Illinois. Since the organization of the Mormon church almost ten years before, this group of religious pioneers, led by Joseph … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Whites of their Eyes”


The Whites of their Eyes: The Tea Party’s Revolution and the Battle over American History. By Jill Lepore. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010. There is a war being waged over American history. Sorry if you weren’t aware of it, … Continue reading

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Robotic Emissaries to the Stars


Five spacecraft from Earth are currently moving out into the stars. After their operations cease, these spacecraft will continue to coast indefinitely. None of them will come close to any known stars, and it is unlikely they will encounter any … Continue reading

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Mormon Militancy and the Conflict in 1840s Nauvoo?


The non-Mormons of Hancock County, Illinois, in the early 1840s probably disliked the Mormons from the first, in the same way that most Americans have generally disliked what they have viewed as religious fanaticism, but they were initially disposed toward toleration … Continue reading

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