Illinois history exceeds the capacity of the Sears Catalog for categorization and the World’s Fair for spectacle. And no matter what the self-appointed tour guide at the local diner might say, the heritage of the land of Lincoln doesn’t end with Capone’s demise. Like the Chicago Loop, the Prairie State’s past seems to defy straightforward chronology—Cahokia offered a version of urban sprawl more than a thousand years before the first Windy City skyscraper. From Park Forest to Cave-in-Rock, scan our shelf of Illinois history books with the unflagging enthusiasm of a Wrigley Field hot dog vendor. [View all Illinois books]

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