Dr. Eileen McMahon receives Book of the Year Award

Dr. Eileen McMahon receives Book of the Year Award

Published: June 4, 2015.


(L to R) Professor Dr. Eileen McMahon, William Furry, Executive
Director of IL Historical Society, and Professor Thedore Karamanski



Lewis University History Professor Dr. Eileen McMahon received the Russell P. Strange Book of the Year Award from the Illinois State Historical Society for her book, “Civil War Chicago: Eyewitness to History,” co-edited by Thedore Karamanski, professor of history at Loyola University. The event was held at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

“It is hard to imagine a better work on Chicago during the Civil War and its long-term effects. It analyzes the many interrelationships between Irish immigrants, African-Americans, the Democratic Party and the Labor Movement. Women’s history is well covered, as is black history. The book uses seldom-seen as well as newly uncovered sources, and each chapter provides a clear overview of its focus and to the numerous primary sources comprising the various ‘eyewitness to history,’” nominator Samara Rafert of Ohio University Press stated.

The American Civil War was a crucial event in the development of Chicago as the metropolis of the heartland. Chicagoans played an important role in the Civil War through their role in Lincoln’s nomination in the city and their very vocal support for and challenges to his policies throughout the war years. The Civil War also transformed the region into an agricultural processing hub and an industrial power. However, the war also created and increased divisions among Chicago’s social classes that still reverberate today.

Photographs throughout the book effectively convey the geography of events in this pivotal period of Chicago’s history, and the editors have provided a useful driving guide to Civil War sites in and around the city.

McMahon’s first book, “What Parish Are You From? The Irish Parish Community and Race Relations,” was awarded for Superior Achievement by the Illinois State Historical Society for serving as a model for the profession and reaching a greater public.

The Illinois State Historical Society is independent of the State of Illinois and the Historical Library, but continues to actively promote the study of Illinois history. The society is a not-for-profit organization that encourages everyone from university scholars to local historians to take an active part in Illinois history.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,700 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.



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