New regional books from SIU Press!

The year 2014 was a good one for us. We brought you dozens of books about Lincoln, the Civil War, architecture, rhetoric, theater, and more. Right now, however, we’d like to focus on some of the exciting regional books that came out this year. Not only do they highlight the rich history of Illinois and illustrate the treasures that the region has to offer, but they also make great gifts! Shop at and receive 30 percent off all of these great books when you use the code GIFT at checkout.


 Orban“Although one certainly could read Illinois Wines and Wineries from cover to cover in one sitting, this is a guide meant to be referred to time and time again. Wine enthusiasts who enjoy visiting wineries and vineyards can easily use the guide to plan routes for day trips or weekends. Those who are looking for longer trips will find the regional sections and accompanying maps useful for planning wine-oriented vacations.”—Chicago Book Review



Partlow“So few people have any understanding of this event and its aftermath. . . . It needs to become a part of the history of southern Illinois.”—Jim Brigham, longtime southern Illinois community leader and businessman, former president of the Southern Illinois University Foundation





9780809333332“Reed challenges depressive stereotypes of black urban life by closely examining the variegated dimensions of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century black Chicago. He paints a vivid picture of entrepreneurial enterprises and institution building of a people who were unwilling to accept victimization and racial oppression. This work is a powerful revelation of black American agency, resiliency, and courage.”—Dr. Clovis E. Semmes, author of The Regal Theater and Black Culture


9780809333370“[This book] is a testament to the wisdom of generations of archivists and librarians who tended to the materials presented in this lavishly illustrated volume. The occasion for Treasures is the 125th anniversary of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. No recognition could be more durable or appropriate.” —Jean H. Baker, author of Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography



9780809333868“Part historical narrative, part family memoir, part pastoral paean, and part jeremiad against the abuse of the land and of the men who gave and continue to give their lives to (and often for) the mines, [Reckoning at Eagle Creek] puts a human face on the industry that supplies nearly half of America’s energy. . . . It offers a rare historical perspective on the vital yet little considered industry, along with a devastating critique of the myth of ‘clean coal.’”—Publishers Weekly




Coming in January!

9780809333769The Marion Experiment unflinchingly documents two sorts of horror: one of breadth, the other of depth. The book takes us across the broad sweep of long-term solitary confinement, showing how this brutal practice has proliferated in the United States and across the globe. It also drops us deep inside the personal terrors of such confinement, right alongside those who have been there and against all odds survived to say so. I could hardly bear to read The Marion Experiment, and I couldn’t bear to stop. With this book the crucial work of convict criminology continues.”—Jeff Ferrell, author of Empire of Scrounge


OrbanSeptember is Illinois Wine Month! We can’t imagine a better way to celebrate than by giving away a couple copies of Illinois Wines and Wineries: The Essential Guide, a new book by Clara Orban.

Comment here and tell us about your favorite winery. It doesn’t have to be in Illinois. We love our state’s wineries, but know that not everyone has had the opportunity to visit them (yet).

To enter, comment by the end of the day on September 24th. Post this link to Twitter, or share our Facebook post, and you will be entered again. We’ll choose two lucky winners on Thursday, September 25. Good Luck!



*We can only ship physical copies of the book within the U.S. Any international winners will receive an ebook.


Book signing at Carbondale Barnes & Noble

PartlowAuthor Geoff Partlow will be at the Carbondale Barnes & Noble on Thursday, August 28, at 5 p.m. All are welcome.

Partlow is the author of America’s Deadliest Twister: The Tri-State Tornado of 1925.  The book draws on survivor interviews, public records, and newspaper archives to offer a detailed account of the tri-state tornado of 1925, which gouged a path from southeast Missouri through southern Illinois and into southwestern Indiana, hugging the ground for 219 miles, generating wind speeds in excess of 300 miles per hour, and killing 695 people. Partlow follows the storm from town to town, introducing us to the people most affected by the tornado, including the African American population of southern Illinois. Their narratives, along with the stories of the heroes who led recovery efforts in the years following, add a hometown perspective to the account of the storm itself.

Remembering Alan Dixon

Former senator Alan Dixon of Illinois passed away yesterday. I heard the news this morning from WSIU. I’d spoken to Alan’s son just a couple of weeks ago, and knew he was under the weather, but I was not expecting this.

9780809332601I had the pleasure of working with Alan on his memoir, The Gentleman from Illinois. The stories he shares are genuine and accessible. I hold a special place in my heart for the authors of our political memoirs—they are a special breed.  But Alan was one of my favorites. Without fail, every phone call would begin with “Hey, it’s your old buddy Alan Dixon!” Perhaps he said this with every call he made, but it never felt like it.



His family encouraged him to write his memoirs, and were very active in helping to promote the book when it was published. It’s clear that they are a loving family. My heart goes out to them.


It was a pleasure to work with Alan and his family, and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to do so. Rest in peace, “old buddy.”


Neuropsychologist, author to speak at SIU

9780809332625Dr. Robert Hanlon, a board certified clinical neuropsychologist specializing in the forensic evaluation of violent criminal offenders, will speak at Southern Illinois University on April 30 at 6 p.m. in the Guyon Auditorium in Morris Library.

Mass murders, including family mass murders and public mass murders in schools, shopping centers, theaters, etc. are commonly committed by mentally disordered young men. Dr. Hanlon will discuss recent findings regarding the psychological factors that contribute to homicidal aggression and murder. Based on his research and experience in evaluating hundreds of violent criminals, Hanlon will speak about how brain abnormalities and mental disorders, compounded by substance abuse, lead to the growing problem of mass murder in American culture.


Dr. Robert E. Hanlon

Hanlon is the author of Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murderer, published recently by Southern Illinois University Press. Survived by One tells the story of Tom Odle, who brutally murdered his parents and three siblings in the small southern Illinois town of Mount Vernon, sending shockwaves throughout the nation. Hanlon tells a gripping story of Odle’s life as an abused child, the life experiences that formed his personality, and his tragic homicidal escalation to mass murder, seamlessly weaving into the narrative Odle’s unadorned reflections of his childhood, finding a new family on death row, and his belief in the powers of redemption.

As our nation attempts to understand the continual mass murders occurring in the U.S., Hanlon sheds some light on the psychological aspects of why and how such acts of extreme carnage may occur.