Category Archives: interviews

Political corruption isn’t just about under-the-table dealings. A major factor that contributes to a system that many see as broken in the state of Illinois and throughout the country is a culture of patronage that, although obfuscated, is perfectly legal. … Continue reading

Food historian and travel writer Cynthia Clampitt recently answered some questions about her book Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland. Q: What was the importance of corn to Native Americas before European contact? Cynthia Clampitt: To a certain … Continue reading

“Back then farming was people,” says Alan Guebert. Guebert has written about agribusiness issues in “The Farm and Food File” since 1993. But the syndicated columnist notes that he would always get the greatest reader response from the times he’d … Continue reading

Gary B. Reid’s introduction to the Stanley Brothers was a used record he picked up for 33 cents in 1973. That modest investment launched Reid on an odyssey that would culminate in “what just might be the definitive history of … Continue reading

Vanessa Pérez Rosario is an associate professor of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at City University of New York, Brooklyn College, and the editor of Hispanic Caribbean Literature of Migration: Narratives of Displacement. She recently answered some questions about her … Continue reading

Laurent Pernot is the executive vice chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago. Pernot came to the U.S. as a Chicago-area foreign-exchange student in 1988 and caught ’89 Cubs playoff fever. He answered some questions about his book Before the Ivy: The … Continue reading

Authors Thomas J. Gradel and Dick Simpson document many colorful and dubious characters in their book Corrupt Illinois. An example (on page 1 of the book, even) would be former Illinois Secretary of State Paul Powell, who left nearly a … Continue reading

In recent history 4 governors and 33 Chicago aldermen have been jailed in Illinois. No wonder the authors of Corrupt Illinois, Patronage, Cronyism, and Criminality make the dire claims as they recently did on Chicago’s WTTW-TV. “Chicago is the most corrupt … Continue reading

In 1970, the big three television networks of ABC, CBS and NBC took notice of the feminist movement. The stories on TV news ranged from a patronizing dismissal of feminists to balanced reports on child care needs and employment discrimination. “Television … Continue reading

Thomas I. Faith is a historian at the U.S. Department of State. He answered some questions about his book Behind the Gas Mask: The U.S. Chemical Warfare Service in War and Peace. Q: When was poison gas first utilized as method … Continue reading