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All avid readers are welcome to join the Museum and Bloomington Public Library on Wednesday, November 4 at 7:00 p.m. for the final installment of the History Reads Book Club for 2020. We will meet online via Zoom to discuss Corn Kings & One-horse Thieves: A Plain-spoken History of Mid-Illinois by James Krohe, Jr. Visit bit.ly/2P6yfpn to register for this free, online discussion.
Krohe describes in lively prose the history of mid-Illinois from the Woodland period of prehistory until roughly 1960, covering the settlement of the region by peoples of disparate races and religions; the exploitation by Euro-Americans of forest, fish, and waterfowl; the transformation of farming into a high-tech industry; and the founding and deaths of towns. The economic, cultural, and racial factors that led to hostility and compromise between various people of different backgrounds are explored, as are the roles of education and religion in this part of the state. The book examines remarkable utopian experiments, social and moral reform movements, and innovations in transportation and food processing. It also offers fresh accounts of labor union warfare and social violence directed against Native Americans, immigrants, and African Americans and profiles three generations of political and government leaders, sometimes extraordinary and sometimes corrupt (the “one-horse thieves” of the title).
Accessible and entertaining yet well-researched and informative, Corn Kings and One-Horse Thieves draws on a wide range of sources to explore a surprisingly diverse section of Illinois whose history is America in microcosm.
To request a copy of the book, please contact the Reference Desk at Bloomington Public library at 309-828-6093 or email email@example.com.