Category Archives: biography

Today marks the birthday of famed sculptor Lorado Taft, born in 1860 in Elmwood, Illinois. A graduate of the Illinois Industrial University—forerunner of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—Taft studied in France before returning to Chicago to make his reputation and … Continue reading

Longing for that down home music? Looking for a shot of brilliance? Tryin’ to forget that you asked for water and your woman/man gave you gasoline? Then you must be celebrating the 100th birthday (or it might be the 102nd birthday) of McKinley Morganfield, … Continue reading

Today we turn over the 200 Years of Illinois feature to Steven Lenz and Nicholas Hopkins, authors of an essay (reprinted below) in the new UIP book The University of Illinois: Engine of Innovation. Lenz and Hopkins look into the life and … Continue reading

Excerpted from Peggy Seeger: A Life of Music, Love, and Politics, by Jean Freedman Peggy had written some mildly feminist songs, such as “Darling Annie,” about an equal partnership between a man and a woman, and “Nightshift,” about a woman’s … Continue reading

Today at The Point, José Ángel N. contributes an essay drawing on his experiences as an undocumented immigrant to ponder American progress, the idea of home, and today’s fraught immigration atmosphere. When I am invited to share my experience as … Continue reading

Book Riot recently released a list of 100 must-read books on life in cults and oppressive religious sects. Author Elizabeth Allen moved across the tragic, weird, and terrible landscape of misused faith to guide readers toward everything from the Heaven’s … Continue reading

Excerpted from Orwell: Life and Art, by Jeffrey Meyers. The chapter deals with George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. The past is one of the dominant themes of the novel. The Party confidently believes: “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls … Continue reading

May Irwin reigned as America’s queen of comedy and song from the 1880s through the 1920s. A genuine pop culture phenomenon, Irwin conquered the legitimate stage, composed song lyrics, and parlayed her celebrity into success as a cookbook author, suffragette, … Continue reading

When people ask me about life in a circus, all I can think is that it must be drafty in those tents. Fortunately for all of us, longtime circus performer Tiny Kline (1891-1964) provided a somewhat more detailed look at big top … 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