New Releases for June 2024

With a new month comes two exciting new titles from SIU Press!

They Both Reached for the Gun

In They Both Reached for the Gun: Beulah Annan, Maurine Watkins, and the Trial That Became Chicago, Charles H. Cosgrove expertly combines meticulous research into inquest transcripts, police records, and interviews with Annan’s relatives with detailed analysis to shed new light on the participants, the trial, and the subsequent play and musical. Although no one will ever know what really happened in the south side apartment one hundred years ago, Cosgrove’s interrogation shows how sensationalized Watkins’s writing was.

They Both Reached for the Gun is a fascinating exploration of the history behind Chicago, the musical based loosely on the 1924 conviction of Beulah Annan for her lover’s murder. Through a careful reexamination of the case, the sensational press coverage, and the transformation of the actual events into entertainment, Cosgrove investigates the sometimes-unhealthy relationship between crime news and entertainment.”—Ann Durkin Keating, North Central College

Mennonites of Southern Illlinois

Offering a glimpse into a world largely misunderstood by mainstream society, Mennonites of Southern Illinois: A Photographic Journal documents the period of eight years that Jane Flynn practiced with Mennonites in two different Southern Illinois communities: Stonefort, and Mount Pleasant in Anna. Despite her status as an outsider, Flynn was welcomed and allowed to photograph the Mennonites in their homes, making applesauce, farming, and beekeeping.

“Jane Flynn’s book of photographs and text is filled with compassion and insight reaped from her unique access to life among Southern Illinois’s Mennonites. Her Scottish roots are underpinned by an ancient history, and her respectful, truthful documents of the ‘plain people’ show Flynn’s fascination with the traditions of another culture. Her careful diligence to show the truths about her experiences has created a book that sets a new bar for compassionate documentary.”—Daniel Overturf, photographer and coauthor of Illinois Trails and Traces: Portraits and Stories along the State’s Historic Routes