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Herrin, Illinois, has seen many dramatic events unfold in the nearly two hundred years since it was a bell-shaped prairie on the frontier. Now, Herrin native John Griswold, a writer and teacher at the University of Illinois, provides the first comprehensive history of this most American city, a place that in its time became not just a melting pot, but a cauldron. Discover why the coal was so good in the Quality Circle and what happened to the boom that followed its discovery. Explore the roots of the vicious Herrin Massacre of 1922 and learn why the entire nation has focused its gaze on this small Midwestern city so many times. Incorporating the most recent scholarship, interviews, and classic histories and narratives, this brief and entertaining history is illustrated with more than seventy-five archival photos that help tell this important American story.