University News

Author Biography: John E. Hallwas

A Note about the Speaker

John E. Hallwas, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Western Illinois University, has written or edited two dozen books related to the Midwest, including the award-winning Cultures in Conflict: A Documentary History of the Mormon War in Illinois (with Roger Launius, 1995) and the highly praised true crime narrative The Bootlegger: A Story of Small-Town America (1998). His most recent book is Dime Novel Desperadoes: The Notorious Maxwell Brothers (2008). He has also written scores of magazine and journal articles and hundreds of newspaper essays.

A literary scholar, writing teacher, and historian, Hallwas has two degrees from Western Illinois University and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida. He has spoken in more than 150 communities in several states, on true crime writing, historical writing, the small-town Midwest, noted outlaws, the Roaring Twenties, American nonfiction, Illinois authors, and other topics. An award-winning teacher and cultural leader, Dr. Hallwas continues to teach non-credit, adult-education classes, and to speak widely.

For biographical information, see Twentieth-Century Authors, Who’s Who in America, and other reference works. His papers are available at Archives and Special Collections, Malpass Library, WIU (309)298-2717. To inquire about talks, classes, or book events:

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