Individual Author Record
Name: Herbert K. RussellPen Name: None Genre: Non-Fiction Born: 1943 in Shelbyville, Illinois Sites:
Illinois ConnectionRussell lives in Carbondale.
Biographical and Professional InformationHerbert K. Russell is the retired director for college relations at John A. Logan College, Carterville, Illinois. He is acknowledged as the foremost authority on Masters and has publishd numerous articles about Masters in scholarly journals and reference works. Russell is the first scholar to be allowed to read and quote from all of Masters's diaries, his correspondence, and the unpublished chapters of his 1936 autobiography Across Spoon River. He is the editor of The Enduring River: Edgar Lee Masters' Uncollected Spoon River Poems and is the author of various publications concerning Illinois subjects including Edgar Lee Masters: A Biography. Russell's works have received various recognitions; research awards have come from tehe Newberry Library and National Endowment for the Humanities.
- A Southern Illinois Album: Farm Security Administration Photographs, 1936 -1943, Southern Illinois University Press, 1990
- Edgar Lee Masters: A Biography, University of Illinois Prress, 2005
- The State of Southern Illinois: An Illustrated History, Southern Illinois University Press, 2012
Titles At Your Library
A Southern Illinois Album: Farm Security Administration Photographs, 1936-1943 (Shawnee Books)
ISBN: 0809315890 Southern Illinois University Press. 1990
Life on the roadwas anything but glamorous for Farm Security Administration photographers traveling through southern Illinois in the mid-1930s. Often their most promising subjects lived at the end of the worst roads, many of which lacked bridges, drainage ditches, or gravel. Outfitted with three government-issue cameras, flashbulbs, tripods, and film-processing chemicals, their job was to help "explain America to Americans" by seeking out and photographing the one-third of the nation FDR described as "ill-housed, ill-clad, and ill-nourished." Featured in this book are more than one hundred photographs from the collection of a quarter of a million taken by FSA photographers between 1935 and 1943. These pictures capture life during the Great Depression as viewed in the coal-mining towns of Herrin, West Frankfort, and Zeigler the river communities of Shawneetown, Cairo, and Grayville the farming regions near McLeansboro, Newton, and Harrisburg―more than two dozen southern Illinois county seats, hamlets, and landings. Together they comprise a photographic portrait of the determination, hard work, and capacity to find ways to celebrate life exemplified by the people of southern Illinois during one of the most difficult periods of American history. FSA photographers helped to invent and popularize the "documentary style," a type of photography in which pictures and their arrangement carry much of the information in a story. Intended to document the success of a government project, these pictures survived to preserve for later generations the story of the people of southern Illinois and how they endured the difficult times of the Great Depression.
Edgar Lee Masters: A BIOGRAPHY
ISBN: 0252073142 University of Illinois Press. 2005 Explores the life and works of the American author best known for his "Spoon River Anthology," a book of 214 poems that influenced early-20th-century literature.
The State of Southern Illinois: An Illustrated History (Shawnee Books)
ISBN: 0809330563 Southern Illinois University Press. 2012
In The State of Southern Illinois: An Illustrated History, Herbert K. Russell offers fresh interpretations of a number of important aspects of Southern Illinois history. Focusing on the area known as “Egypt,” the regionsouth of U.S. Route 50 from Salem south to Cairo, he begins his book with the earliest geologic formations and follows Southern Illinois’s history into the twenty-first century. The volume is richly illustrated with maps and photographs, mostly in color, that highlight the informative and straightforward text.
Perhaps most notable is the author’s use of dozens of heretofore neglected sources to dispel the myth that Southern Illinois is merely an extension of Dixie. He corrects the popular impressions that slavery was introduced by early settlers from the South and that a majority of Southern Illinoisans wished to secede. Furthermore, he presents the first in-depth discussion of twelve pre–Civil War, free black communities located in the region. He also identifies the roles coal mining, labor violence, gangsters, and the media played inestablishing the area’s image. He concludes optimistically, unveiling a twenty-first-century Southern Illinois filled with myriad attractions and opportunities for citizens and tourists alike.
The State of Southern Illinois is the most accurate all-encompassing volume of history on this unique area that often regards itself as a state within a state. It offers an entirely new perspective on race relations, provides insightful information on the cultural divide between north and south in Illinois, and pays tribute to an often neglected and misunderstood region of this multidimensional state, all against a stunning visual backdrop.