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THE FIRST NEW HISTORY OF ILLINOIS IN MORE THAN FORTY YEARS. IN MORE THAN FORTY YEARS Colorful Characters, Scandals, and Unsung Heroes Come Alive in New History Book In addition to its complete narrative history of Illinois, the author focuses on both entertaining and important stories about Illinois political leaders in Chicago, Springfield, and Washington, D.C. over the span of 158 years from 1854 to 2012, through the eyes of the Illinois State Society in Washington, D.C. The book includes some never-before-published photographs of past Illinois leaders of both parties and an index of more than 2,000 names. In his Foreword, former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley says, this book brings back from the past important chapters of Chicago history and places them in context. Great events such as the Columbian Exposition of 1893, the Century of Progress World Fair of 1933, and tragedies such as the SS Eastland disaster in 1915 and the Our Lady of Angels School Fire in 1958 come alive for readers. Former Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson commented, Teddy Roosevelt said that Illinois was the most American of all the states. In this fascinating book, Mark Rhoads captures all the diversity and splendor of a state that has represented the genius and full flower of this country. The special gift of Illinois was the president who saved the Union. The Illinois story is the American story. The colorful cast of Illinois political leaders from both parties over 158 years has included both scoundrels and heroes. Illinois politics has never been a dull show, Rhoads says of his book. From the rise of Lincoln to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, and from the Haymarket Riots to Ronald Reagan, Mr. Rhoads has created a comprehensive and unique perspective on the history of the United States and its 21st state, said Paul Merrion, Washington Bureau Chief, Crain's Chicago Business
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