Category Archives: biography

Initially published soon after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., David Levering Lewis’s King: A Biography was acclaimed by historians as a foundational work on the life of the civil rights icon. In 2013 the University of Illinois Press published an … Continue reading

On January 6, 1955 contralto Marian Anderson became the first African American soloist to sing at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. She appeared in the role of Ulrica (a Creole fortuneteller medium) in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera. Born in 1897, Anderson’s parents moved to … Continue reading

Two UIP titles are now available in paperback editions. Denise Levertov: A Poet’s Life Called by Kenneth Rexroth “the most subtly skillful poet of her generation,” British-born Denise Levertov authored twenty-four volumes of poetry, four books of essays, and several … 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

Longing for that down home music? Looking for a shot of genius? Tryin’ to forget that you asked for water and your woman gave you gasoline? Order from our salesational The Best of Illinois: Vol. 1 catalog and get 40% off the good vibrations … Continue reading

Metrics used to refer to a baffling system of weights and measures that Americans refused to adopt. These days, however, sports fans quote a different kind of metrics that measure everything from K/BB ratio to Kobe’s plus-minus. We live in an age … Continue reading

On November 6, 1814 Adophe Sax was born in Wallonia, Belgium. Sax invented many musical instruments but the one for which he is best known (and has immortalized his name) is the saxophone. Somewhere along the line musical enthusiasts declared … Continue reading

Many a high school English student has turned to a video of the 1950s film adaptation of Moby-Dick when faced with writing a report on lengthy sea tale. The plot details may remain mostly the same, but the movie version … Continue reading

Name one other banjo player who wears Prada. And I don’t mean Prada overalls. —Natalie Maines The lead singer of the breakout bluegrass trio the Dixie Chicks, Natalie Maines, was born on October 14, 1974. The singer joined the Dixie … Continue reading

Story songs had won love from an admiring public since the days when drunken Vikings flung wandering skalds into a nearby volcano. When the wireless came along, story songs filled the air in a different way. The story song “El … Continue reading