Category Archives: Illinois / regional

Jesse Jackson Jr. gained his Congressional seat by winning a special election to replace Rep. Mel Reynolds. Reynolds resigned after being convicted of sexual misconduct. Jackson himself resigned as the Representative of the Second Congressional District of Illinois facing charges … Continue reading

When Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock announced he’d be resigning from the U.S. Congress it was seen by many as yet another example of the state’s seamy political underbelly. As detailed in Corrupt Illinois: Patronage, Cronyism and Criminality, Aaron Schock is not … Continue reading

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

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

From the UIP release Christmas in Illinois, edited by James Ballowe: Before sitting on Santa’s lap in department stores became the way children let Santa and their parents know what they wanted for Christmas, letter writing was common, and often … Continue reading

Alan Guebert’s book The Land of Milk and Uncle Honey may have been inspired by a little homemade wine. Guebert, has been writing his nationally syndicated column “The Farm and Food File” since 1993. The first seed of what would become … Continue reading