Plan Your Visit
Outside View of the Indiana Historical Society Building
Plan your visit
Tuesday - Saturday10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center 450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
Indiana Experience Admission Free IHS MembersFree Children under 5$9 Adult$8 Seniors 60 and older$5 Youth ages 5 through 17 Free parking with admission in lot off New York.

Floor Plans

Canal level map of the History CenterFirst level map of the History CenterSecond level map of the History CenterFourth level map of the History Center

Books for your device

E-books from the IHS Press are available from major e-book distributors and directly from the Basile History Market online at shop.indianahistory.org.

Our e-books are available for libraries to purchase from ProQuest and Overdrive.

Bones on the Ground

Elizabeth O’Maley

What happened to the Indians of the Old Northwest Territory? Conflicting portraits emerge and answers often depend on who’s telling the story, with each participant bending and stretching the truth to fit their own view of themselves and the world. Bones on the Ground presents biographical sketches and first-person narratives of Native Americans, Indian traders, Colonial and American leaders, and events that shaped the Indians’ struggle to maintain possession of their tribal lands in the face of the widespread advancement of white settlement.

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The Carter Journels: Time Travels in Early U.S. History

Shane Phipps
When 14-year-old Cody Carter’s grandfather gives him a box of dusty leather journals written by their ancestors, even the history-loving Cody could not have predicted the adventure he was about to take. Journal by journal, Cody is physically transported back in time to experience the lives of Carters on the frontier in North Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana in the 18th and 19th centuries. Historical fiction, grades 8 through 12. Free teacher resource guide.

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The Diary of Calvin Fletcher, 1817 to 1866 | Vols. 1 through 9

Edited by Gayle Thornbrough, Dorothy L. Riker and Paula Corpuz

Calvin Fletcher was born in Vermont in 1798 and came to Indiana from Ohio in 1821, becoming a pillar of the Indianapolis community. A lawyer, banker and philanthropist, he kept a diary for most of his life in which he commented thoughtfully about Indiana’s early politics and social and economic development. Between 1972 and 1983 the Indiana Historical Society published The Diary of Calvin Fletcher in nine indexed volumes, complete with chronologies and black and white illustrations. The set is now available in e-book format.

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Family Practice Stories: Memories, Reflections and Stories of Hoosier Family Doctors of the Mid-Twentieth Century

Richard D. Feldman

A collection of tales told by and about Hoosier family doctors practicing in the middle of the 20th century celebrate that time in America considered to be the golden age of generalism in medicine. The stories conjure up Norman Rockwell’s familiar archetypal images of the country family doctor and a time when the art of healing was at its zenith.

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For Duty and Destiny: The Life and Civil War Diary of William Taylor Stott, Hoosier Soldier and Educator

Lloyd A. Hunter

William Taylor Stott was a native Hoosier and an 1861 graduate of Franklin College. He later became the president who took it from virtual bankruptcy in 1872 to its place as a leading liberal arts institution in Indiana. Stott was an inspirational and intellectual force in the Indiana Baptist community and a foremost champion of small denominational colleges and of higher education in general. He also fought in the 18th Indiana Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, rising from private to captain by 1863.

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Hanna’s Town: A Little World We Have Lost

W. William Wimberly II

In late autumn 1902, a macabre scene unfolded at the original burial ground of Wabash, Ind., which had been called both the Old Cemetery and Hanna’s Cemetery. The task at hand was the disinterment of four bodies. The newest of the four graves held whatever might be left of the corpse of Colonel Hugh Hanna who, more than any other single citizen, was the founding father and civic icon of the prosperous and picturesque community. This book tells the story of a town that rose from the wilderness, one with a bustling economy, a sense of community, civic pride, broad economic connections, architectural achievements, and various other cultural pretensions.

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Hardwood Glory: A Life of John Wooden

Barbara Olenyik Morrow

John Wooden was born in the small Indiana town of Martinsville near the start of the last century. He was an accomplished athlete in high school and an All-American as a starting guard at Purdue University. After briefly teaching and coaching several sports in Dayton, Ky., Wooden returned to Indiana, where he launched a successful career coaching basketball at South Bend Central High School and later at Indiana State Teachers College (now Indiana State University) in Terre Haute. In 1948, at age 37, Wooden took over the head basketball job at the University of California at Los Angeles, a school with virtually no basketball tradition. For the next six decades, he remained in Southern California, creating a basketball dynasty at UCLA and solidifying his place as one of the sporting world’s greats.

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Home Before the Raven Caws

Richard D. Feldman

In 1903 Alaska governor John Brady collected fifteen old totem poles for preservation at Stika National Historical Park, creating one of the most famous collections of totem poles in the world. One pole became separated, and its fate remained a mystery for nearly ninety years. This revised edition of Home before the Raven Caws unravels the mystery of that missing pole from the Brady collection. The old Alaskan pole found its way to Indiana over a hundred years ago. A new version of the pole stands today at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis. The first portion of the book serves as a general primer of the history and cultural significance, identification, carving, and raising of totem poles.

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Hoosier Public Enemy: A Life of John Dillinger

John A. Beineke

During the bleak days of the Great Depression, news of economic hardship often took a backseat to articles on the exploits of an outlaw from Indiana – John Dillinger. For 14 months during 1933 and 1934 Dillinger became the most famous bandit in American history, and no criminal since has matched him for his celebrity and notoriety. Grades 8 through 12.

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Hoosiers and the American Story

James H. Madison and Lee Ann Sandweiss

A supplemental text for middle and high school students, Hoosiers and the American Story provides intimate views of individuals, places and events in Indiana history set within themes from American history.

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Indiana's 200: The People Who Shaped the Hoosier State

Linda C. Gugin and James E. St. Clair

This volume recognizes the people who made enduring contributions to the state of Indiana in its 200-year history. Written by historians, scholars, biographers and independent researchers, the biographical essays will enhance the public’s knowledge and appreciation of those who made a difference in the lives of Hoosiers, the country and the world. While the essays contain standard biographical information, emphasis is placed on what these people accomplished and the resulting impact of their lives on the state and elsewhere.

Subjects profiled in the book include individuals from all fields of endeavor: law, politics, art, music, entertainment, literature, sports, education, business/industry, religion, science/invention/technology as well as “the notorious.”

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Indiana Out Loud: Dan Carpenter on the Heartland Beat

Dan Carpenter

Since 1976, Dan Carpenter’s writing has appeared in the pages of The Indianapolis Star as a police reporter, book critic and renowned op-ed columnist. In writing for the state’s largest newspaper, Carpenter has covered the life and times of some notable Hoosiers, as well as serving as a voice for the disadvantaged, sometimes exasperating the Star‘s readership in central Indiana as the newspaper’s house liberal. Indiana Out Loud is a collection of the best of Carpenter’s work since 1993 and includes timely and engaging examinations of the lives of intriguing people.

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Indiana Political Heroes
Geoff Paddock

Politics has always played an important role in Indiana, and the state itself at one time furnished candidates for national office from an assortment of American political parties. Indiana Political Heroes takes a contemporary look at those who serve in public office with eight essays on Hoosier politicians who have made a difference in Indiana and in the U.S. Capitol. Paddock profiles such distinguished Democratic and Republican lawmakers as Birch Bayh, John Brademas, Richard Hatcher, R. Vance Hartke, William Hudnut, Richard Ristine, J. Edward Roush, and William Ruckelshaus.

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Indiana Quakers Confront the Civil War

Jacquelyn S. Nelson

When members of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, first arrived in antebellum Indiana, they could not have envisioned the struggle which would engulf the nation when the American Civil War began in 1861. Juxtaposed with its stand against slavery a second tenet of the Society’s creed – adherence to peace – also challenged the unity of Friends when the dreaded conflict erupted. Indiana Quakers Confront the Civil War chronicles for the first time the military activities of Indiana Quakers during America’s bloodiest war and explores the motivation behind the abandonment, at least temporarily, of their long-standing testimony against war.

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Indiana to 1816: The Colonial Period

John D. Barnhart and Dorothy L. Riker

The first volume of the History of Indiana series presents Indiana’s past from its prehistory through the advance to statehood. Topics covered include the French and British presence, the American Revolution and the territorial days.

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Indianapolis: A City of Immigrants

M. Teresa Baer

This supplemental text for grades 8 through 12 opens with the Delaware Indians prior to 1818. White Americans quickly replaced the natives. Germanic people arrived during the mid-19th century. African American indentured servants and free blacks migrated to Indianapolis. After the Civil War, southern blacks poured into the city. Fleeing war and political unrest, thousands of eastern and southern Europeans came to Indianapolis. Anti-immigration laws slowed immigration until World War II. Afterward, the city welcomed students and professionals from Asia and the Middle East and refugees from war-torn countries such as Vietnam and poor countries such as Mexico. Today, immigrants make Indianapolis more diverse and culturally rich than ever before. Free teacher resource guide.

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Indianapolis: The Bass Photo Company Collection

Susan Sutton

The Bass Photo Company photographed the local automobile industry, the rise of new office buildings, and activity along the commercial hub of Washington, Illinois, Meridian and Market streets. This book contains 183 photos selected from the vast Bass Photo Company Collection at the Indiana Historical Society. The assorted images depict Indianapolis in good times and bad and provide a visual link to the city’s past. Many of the images are so vivid that one can almost hear the clang of a trolley, the click of horse hooves, the roar of engines, and the din in the streets filled with bustling pedestrians. Included in the volume are nostalgic images of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, leisure activities, individual portraits, street scenes, Monument Circle, a parade of returning World War I soldiers and more.

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Justices of the Indiana Supreme Court

Edited by Linda C. Gugin and James E. St. Clair

From its inception in 1816 until 2010, one woman and 105 men have been members of the Indiana Supreme Court. In this multiauthor volume, which features an introduction by Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts Jr., authors explore the lives of each justice, unearthing not only standard biographical information but also personal stories that offer additional insight into their lives and times. In the early days of Indiana statehood, the men who served on the Court often learned their profession by studying in the office of a trained lawyer and began their career as judges by “riding the circuit.” The book was published by the IHS Press in cooperation with the Indiana Supreme Court.

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The Kimberlins Go to War: A Union Family in Copperhead Country

Michael B. Murphy

This is the story of the Kimberlin family from Scott County, Indiana,  that sent 33 fathers and sons, brothers and cousins to fight for the Union during the Civil War. Ten family members were killed, wounded or died of battlefield disease, a 30 percent casualty rate that is unmatched in recorded Scott County history.Their feelings about the war come from 40 letters to and from the battlefield that have survived. This book examines such questions as: Were they fighting to save the Union or to free slaves? How did they express grief over the loss of a brother? Did they keep up with their business and the women at home? And what did they think about “secesh” neighbors in southern Indiana who tried to undermine the Union?

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A Leaf of Voices: Stories of the American Civil War in the Words of Those Who Lived and Died, 1861–65

Jennifer McSpadden

During the American Civil the Wabash Intelligencer and the Wabash Plain Dealer frequently printed letters from Wabash County men serving in the Union army. The letter writers are a remarkable cast of characters: young and old, soldiers, doctors, ministers, officers, enlisted men, newspaper men, and a fifteen-year-old printers’ devil who enlisted as a drummer boy.

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L.S. Ayres & Company: The Store at the Crossroads of America

Kenneth L. Turchi

In 1872 Lyman Ayres acquired a controlling interest in the Trade Palace, a dry-goods store in Indianapolis. Two years later, he bought out his partners and renamed the establishment L.S. Ayres and Company. For the next century, Ayres was as much a part of Indianapolis as Monument Circle or the Indianapolis 500. What was the secret of Ayres’s success? In this book, Ken Turchi traces the store’s history through three wars, the Great Depression, and the changing tastes and shopping habits of America in the 1960s and 1970s. Examining Ayres’s 100 years of management decisions, he offers strategic takeaways that explain not only the store’s success, but that also apply to anyone who wants to be successful in business. Along the way, he describes the store’s phenomenal growth while offering a behind-the-scenes look at this beloved and trusted institution.

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Maria’s Journey

Ramón Arredondo and Trisha (Hull) Arredondo

Born into the Mexican Revolution, Maria Perez entered an arranged marriage at age 14 to Miguel Arredondo. The couple and their tiny daughter immigrated to the United States in the 1920s, living in a boxcar while Miguel worked for a Texas railroad. They eventually settled in East Chicago, Ind., where Miguel worked for Inland Steel. Their story includes much of early 20th-century America: the rise of unions, the plunge into the Great Depression, the patriotism of World War II, and the starkness of McCarthyism. It is flavored by delivery men hawking fruit and ice, street sports, and Saturday matinees that began with newsreels. Immigration status colors every scene, adding to their story deportation and citizenship, generational problems unique to new immigrants, and a miraculous message of hope.
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Meredith Nicholson: A Writing Life

Ralph D. Gray

From 1880 to 1920, Indiana experienced a golden age of literature, with Hoosier authors achieving both national prominence and national acclaim. These writers provided readers with stories that emphasized traditional values and offered shelter from an ever-changing world. Attention focused especially on four men, including the great Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Booth Tarkington and noted newspaper columnist and humorist George Ade. The other member of this special group – Meredith Nicholson – also won enormous success with his novels. Nicholson stands as the most Hoosier of all the Indiana writers, serving as an outspoken advocate for the state. In addition to writing such national bestsellers as Zelda Dameron and The House of a Thousand Candles, his best-known novel, Nicholson won praise as an insightful essayist, with his work published in such national magazines as The Saturday Evening Post and Atlantic.

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The Miami Indians of Indiana: A Persistent People, 1654–1994

Stewart Rafert

Now scattered in small communities in northern Indiana, the Eastern Miami Indians, once a well-known tribe, have lived in undeserved obscurity since the 1840s. In recent years they have become more visible as they have sought restoration of treaty rights and have revitalized their culture. The post-removal history of the Indiana Miami tribe is a rich texture of social, legal, and economic history, much enhanced by folklore and a rich series of photographic images. In The Miami Indians of Indiana: A Persistent People, 1654–1994, Rafert explores the history and culture of the Miami Indians.

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Murder in Their Hearts: The Fall Creek Massacre

David Thomas Murphy

In March 1824, a group of angry and intoxicated settlers brutally murdered nine Indians camped along a tributary of Fall Creek. The carnage was recounted in lurid detail in the contemporary press and the events that followed sparked a national sensation. Although violence between settlers and Native Americans was not unusual in the Old Northwest Territory during the early 19th century, in this particular incident the white men responsible for the murders were singled out and hunted down, brought to trial, convicted by a jury of their neighbors, and, for the first time under American law, sentenced to death and executed for the murder of Native Americans.

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The Native Americans

Elizabeth Glenn and Stewart Rafert

Native American ancestors inhabited the land of Indiana from around 9,500 BC. European contact with Indiana’s Miami, Wea, Mascouten and Shawnee tribes began in 1679. However, Indians were forced onto western reservations in the 1830s. By 1850 only a portion of the Miami remained in Indiana. Many natives either assimilated into white culture or hid their identity. This scenario changed when Native Americans served in the military and at home during World War II. Afterward, Indians from many lineages flocked to Indiana. Along with Indiana’s Miami and Potawatomi, they are creating a diverse Indian culture, expressed through pan-Indian as well as tribal activities, that enriches the lives of all Hoosiers.

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Paint and Canvas: A Life of T.C. Steele

Rachel Berenson Perry

At the age of 14, a young man in Waveland, Ind., took over the family farm after the death of his father. Now responsible for taking care of his widowed mother and supporting his four brothers, he took up the reins of the plow to begin preparing the field for planting. Family legend has it that the young farmer, Theodore Clement Steele, tied “colored ribbons to the handles of the plow so that he could watch the ribbons in the wind and the effect that they had on the [surrounding] colors.” Recognizing Steele’s passion for art, his mother supported his choice to make his living as an artist. This youth biography traces the path of T.C. Steele’s career as an artist from his early studies in Germany to his determination to paint what he knew best, the Indiana landscape. Grades 8 through 12. Free teachers guide.

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Pathways to the Old Northwest: An Observance of the Bicentennial of the Northwest Ordinance

Edited by Lloyd A. Hunter, et al

In 1987 Franklin College of Indiana hosted an observance of the bicentennial of the Northwest Ordinance. Professional and amateur historians, folklorists, scholars in the arts, teachers, and students gathered to examine the provisions of that historic document and the governmental structure it created for the frontier lands north of the Ohio River. Pathways to the Old Northwest: An Observance of the Bicentennial of the Northwest Ordinance presents six of the lectures delivered at the conference. These lectures represent current knowledge about the early history of the Ohio River-Great Lakes area, the circumstances surrounding passage of the Ordinance, the beginnings of government and society, and the ethnic diversity of the region’s people.

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The People’s Choice: Congressman Jim Jontz of Indiana

Ray E. Boomhower

This first-ever biography of Jim Jontz examines his remarkable long-shot political career and lifetime involvement in local, state and national environmental issues. As a liberal Democrat – he preferred the terms progressive or populist – usually running in conservative districts, Jontz had political pundits predicting his defeat in every election only to see him celebrating another victory with his happy supporters. Jontz told a reporter that his political career had always been based on his willingness and role as a spokesman for the average citizen.

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Profiles in Survival: The Experiences of American POWs in the Philippines During World War II

John C. Shively

The stories of seven men and one woman from Indiana who survived the horrors of captivity under the Japanese in the Pacific during World War II are captured in vivid detail by author John C.  Shively. These Hoosiers stationed in the Philippines were ordered to surrender following the fall of Bataan and Corregidor in 1942. It was the largest surrender of American armed forces in U.S. history. For many, it was the beginning of three years of hell starting with the infamous Bataan Death March, brutal conditions in POW camps in the Philippines and, for some, horrific journeys to Japan on board what came to be known as hellships.

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The Quiet Hero: A Life of Ryan White

Nelson Price

In 1985, the eyes of the world turned to the Hoosier State and the attempt by a 13-year-old Kokomo teenager to do what seemed to be a simple task – join his fellow classmates at Western Middle School in Russiaville. Ryan White, however, had been diagnosed with AIDS from contaminated blood-based products used to treat his hemophilia. “It was my decision to live a normal life, go to school, be with friends and enjoy day-to-day activities,” White said. “It was not going to be easy.” Those words were an understatement, to say the least. His wish to return to school was met with close to hysteria by members of the school board, the principal, parents and teachers.

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Rebel Bulldog: The Story of One Family, Two States, and the Civil War

Jason Lantzer

Rebel Bulldog tells the story of Preston Davidson, a Northerner who fought for the Confederacy, and his family who lived in Indiana and Virginia. It examines antebellum religion, education, reform, and politics, and how they affected the identity of not just one young man, but of a nation caught up in a civil war. Furthermore, it discusses how a native-born Hoosier reached the decision to fight for the South, while detailing a unique war experience and the postwar life of a proud Rebel who returned to the North after the guns fell silent and tried to remake his life in a very different state and nation than the ones he had left in 1860.

The book uses not just Preston’s story, but that of his family as a lens to help us glimpse the past. Preston’s paternal family had strong ties to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and Washington College (now Washington and Lee University). The maternal side of Preston’s family tree included his grandfather, Governor Noah Noble.

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Red Skelton: The Mask Behind the Mask

Wes D. Gehring

For 20 years, Hoosier comic Red Skelton entertained millions of viewers who gathered around their television sets to delight in the antics of such notable characters as Freddie the Freeloader, Clem Kaddiddlehopper, Cauliflower McPugg, and Sheriff Deadeye. Noted film historian Wes D. Gehring examines the man behind the characters – someone who never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Gehring delves into Skelton’s hardscrabble life with a shockingly dysfunctional family in the southern Indiana community of Vincennes, his days on the road in the vaudeville circuit, the comedian’s early success on radio, his up-and-down movie career with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and his sometimes tragic personal life.

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Robert Wise: Shadowlands

Wes D. Gehring

Born in Winchester, Ind., Robert Wise spent much of his youth sitting in darkened movie theaters enthralled by the swashbuckling heroics of screen legend Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Through these viewings, Wise developed a passion for film that he followed for the rest of his life, making movies in Hollywood. Nationally known film historian Wes D. Gehring explores Wise’s life from his days in the Hoosier State to the beginning of his movie career at RKO studios working as the editor of Orson Welles’s classic movie Citizen Kane. Wise is best known for producing and directing two of the most memorable movie musicals in cinema history, West Side Story (codirector Jerome Robbins) and The Sound of Music. He won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director.

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Shadow of Shiloh: Major General Lew Wallace in the Civil War

Gail Stephens

Thirty-two years after the Battle of Shiloh, Lew Wallace returned to the battlefield, mapping the route of his April 1862 march. Ulysses S. Grant, Wallace’s commander at Shiloh, expected Wallace and his Third Division to arrive in the early afternoon of April 6. However, they did not arrive until nightfall, and in the aftermath of the bloodbath at Shiloh, Grant attributed Wallace’s late arrival to a failure to obey orders. By mapping the route of his march and proving how and where he had actually been that day, the 67-year-old Wallace hoped to remove the stigma of “Shiloh and its slanders.” That did not happen. Shiloh still defines Wallace’s military reputation, overshadowing the rest of his stellar military career and making it easy to forget that he was a rising military star, the youngest major general in the Union. In Shadow of Shiloh, Gail Stephens addresses Wallace’s military career and its place in the larger context of Civil War military history.

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A Soldier in World War I: The Diary of Elmer W. Sherwood

Edited by Robert H. Farrell

In April 1917 a sophomore from Indiana University, inspired by the stories of his grandfather’s service in the Union Army during the Civil War, left school and enlisted with a National Guard unit in Indianapolis that became the 150th Field Artillery Regiment. Before long the young man, Elmer W. Sherwood, found himself in the thick of fighting in France, as his artillery regiment served in combat with the 42nd Rainbow Division. Sherwood kept a diary of hist time overseas, including his experiences in the army of occupation following the war’s end. Sherwood tells of the hard existence of life in the trenches, including the endless mud that sometimes trapped unwary soldiers for hours at a time and the wretched food he had to eat.

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Steve McQueen: The Great Escape

Wes D. Gehring

The poster-child victim of a dysfunctional family from Beech Grove, Ind., Steve McQueen experienced an unsettled early life with a rebellious and alcoholic mother. McQueen channeled his difficult childhood into a masterful career on screen portraying tough, self-sufficient characters in such iconic films as The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Sand Pebbles and Bullitt. Nationally known film historian Wes D. Gehring explores how McQueen rose from his days as a troubled youth into one of Hollywood’s top box-office stars and how he attempted to ease the lives of other troubled youth. He delves into McQueen’s early success, his rocky relationships with women, his sense of humor,  and his love of fast cars and motorcycles.

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