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Robert E. Hartley

Born: 1936 in Winfield, Kansas
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Robert was a journalist and group editor of the former Lidsey-Schaub newspapers in Illinois, which included papers in Decatur, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Edwardsville and Champaign-Urbana.

Biography: Hartley was a journalist and group editor of the former Lidsey-Schaub newspapers in Illinois. He has written books on Illinois history and politics, including books on Illinois politicians Paul Powell and Paul Simon. His book ''Lewis & Clark in the Illinois Coutnry: The Little-Told Story'' focuses on the prelude to the historic expedition, from the American Revolution to 1803, and the crucial six months in the winter of 1803-04 that the exploreres spent in the Illinois country, recruiting and gathering supplies and infomration. The expeditiion began more than 200 years ago with the creation of a camp near what is now known as Wood River in Madison County.

  • Big Jim Thompson of Illinois Award of Merit from Illinois State Historical Society , 1980
  • Death Underground Certificates of Excellence from the Illinois Historical Society, 2007

Primary Literary Genre(s): History; Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

An Uncertain Tradition: U.S. Senators From Illinois 1818-2003
ISBN: 0809325497 OCLC: 51855403

Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale : ©2003.

This sweeping survey constitutes the first comprehensive treatment of the 47 individuals -- 46 white males and one African American female -- who have been chosen to represent Illinois in the United States Senate from 1818 to 2003. Political issues changing over time are illuminated by the lives of participants in the politics of choice and service in the Senate. Integrated with the currents of local and national politics, the stories of the senators' lives and careers impart a distinct and wide-ranging view of Illinois's political traditions. From the notorious to the heroic, the popular to the pioneering, the senatorial roster includes such luminaries as

Battleground 1948: Truman, Stevenson, Douglas, and the Most Surprising Election in Illinois History
ISBN: 0809332663 OCLC: 856870651

Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale : 2013.

The election year of 1948 remains to this day one of the most astonishing in U.S. political history. During this first general election after World War II, Americans looked to their governments for change. As the battle for the nation's highest office came to a head in Illinois, the state was embroiled in its own partisan showdowns-elections that would prove critical in the course of state and national history. In Battleground 1948, Robert E. Hartley offers the first comprehensive chronicle of this historic election year and its consequences, which still reso.

Big Jim Thompson of Illinois
ISBN: 0528818244 OCLC: 5285925

Biographies are usually written about someone whose career is ending rather than beginning. This is an early (1979!) bio of Jim Thompson, former governor of Illinois.

Charles H. Percy: A Political Perspective
ISBN: 0528810189 OCLC: 1529541

Rand McNally, Chicago : 1975.

Charles H. Percy - A Political Perspective by Robert E. Hartley is an objective, in-depth political biography of the Senior Senator from Illinois. It provides a fresh, comprehensive insight into the political background, philosophy, and outlook of a man whose increasing seniority in the Senate had a major influence on national affairs. Hartley has sorted out the various facets of Percy's political image. How has Percy's personal and business background affected his political philosophy? What in fact is his philosophy and how was it formed? How has this philosophy affected his sometimes edgy relationship with the more conservative, traditional Illinois Republicans? - Illustrated with photographs

Death Underground: The Centralia and West Frankfort Mine Disasters
ISBN: 0809327058 OCLC: 62897610

Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale : ©2006.

Examining two devastating coal mine disasters Death Underground: The Centralia and West Frankfort Mine Disasters examines two of the most devastating coal mine disasters in United States history since 1928. In two southern Illinois towns only forty miles apart, explosions killed 111 men at the Centralia No. 5 mine in 1947 and 119 men at the New Orient No. 2 mine in West Frankfort in 1951. Robert E. Hartley and David Kenney explain the causes of the accidents, identify who was to blame, and detail the emotional impact the disasters had on the survivors, their families, and their communities. Politics at the highest level of Illinois government played a critical role in the conditions that led to the accidents. Hartley and Kenney address how safety was compromised when inspection reports were widely ignored by state mining officials and mine company supervisors. Highlighted is the role of Driscoll Scanlan, a state inspector at Centralia, who warned of an impending disaster but whose political enemies shifted the blame to him, ruining his career. Hartley and Kenney also detail the New Orient No. 2 mine explosion, the attempts at rescue, and the resulting political spin circulated by labor, management, and the state bureaucracy. They outline the investigation, the subsequent hearings, and the efforts in Congress to legislate greater mine safety. Hartley and Kenney include interviews with the survivors, a summary of the investigative records, and an analysis of the causes of both mine accidents. They place responsibility for the disasters on individual mine owners, labor unions, and state officials, providing new interpretations not previously presented in the literature. Augmented by twenty-nine illustrations, the volume also covers the history, culture, and ethnic pluralism of coal mining in Illinois and the United States.

Lewis and Clark in the Illinois Country: The Little-Told Story
ISBN: 1401057942 OCLC: 50823712

Sniktau Publications ; Westminster, CO : 2002.

Obsessed: The Presidency and Illinois Senators Percy, Stevenson III, Simon

Xlibris Us 2023

From history books, memoirs, news stories and public utterances it is known that untold numbers of serving United States senators dreamed of residing in the Oval Office. Many fewer committed to open pursuit of the office, and even fewer made it. Three Illinois senators from the 1950s to the 1990s- Republican Charles H. Percy, Democrats Adlai E.Stevenson III and Paul Simon-can be counted as actively engaged in the hunt, with widely differing outcomes. Each had internal and external pressures. Percy: Encouraged by Dwight Eisenhower and his brother Milton and dogged by media speculation. Stevenson III: Expected to follow in the footsteps of his greatgrandfather, and his father, Stevenson II. Simon: Ambitious to find ever-higher elective outlets for his policy ideas, and willing to take the risk. Circumstances aside, their common goal was to be president. Their stories include campaign images, and fresh perspectives based on documents

Paul Powell of Illinois: A Lifelong Democrat
ISBN: 0809322714 OCLC: 45733696

Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale : ©1999.

Paul Powell emerged from the hill country of southern Illinois to serve in state government from 1935 until his death in 1970. His political tenure included three terms as Speaker of the Illinois House, four terms as minority leader, and two terms as secretary of state. The sponsor of hundreds of bills, he worked tirelessly for his constituents in southern Illinois. He also worked tirelessly to promote his own interests. In this first political biography of Powell, Robert E. Hartley follows the money. He tells how this man of humble origins and meager means amassed a world-class political and financial base. Part of that story is the disclosure of a personal fortune that boggled minds, including the unbelievable yarn of the $800,000 cash found in the hotel room following Powell's death. Powell never earned a state salary of more than $30,000 per year, yet in the last year of his life, his federal income tax return showed an income of more than $200,000. At his death his estate totaled $3.2 million, and, when settled in 1978, was worth $4.6 million, including nearly $1 million in racetrack stock. Following Powell's story, Hartley takes us deep into the Illinois political world of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, a time when politicians were on an "honor system" regarding their financial holdings. This was before disclosure of political contributions, before computer records, and before public meetings laws.

Paul Simon: The Political Journey of an Illinois Original
ISBN: 9781441645036 OCLC: 608691545

Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale : ©2009.

With Paul Simon: The Political Journey of an Illinois Original, author Robert E. Hartley presents the first thorough, objective volume on the journalistic and political career of one of Illinois's most respected public figures. Hartley's detailed account offers a fully rounded portrait of a man whose ideals and tenacity not only spurred reform on both state and national levels during his celebrated forty-year career but also established the lasting legacy of a political legend. Simon first became a public figure at the age of nineteen, when he assumed th.

Purpose, Power and Prison: Stories About Former Illinois Governors
ISBN: 1796084522 OCLC: 1201197723

What happened to the 11 men who served as governor of Illinois from 1933 to 2003? That is what this book is about. Each life is traced from highlights and lowlights in office to the day the music stopped and life played out as a former governor. Most of them would have preferred to continue serving as the state's chief executive. But that wasn't an option. Each man faced the challenges of a new life. Some performed well, some did not. The eleven are a mixed bag of personalities, ambitions and attempts at further glory. Their stories offer a rich assortment of adventures ranging from failure to success, from further political involvement to heroic legal battles, and efforts to earn their way. Yes, stories of three who went to prison, Kerner, Walker and Ryan, are included. For the first time in print, the rest of the story is available.

Saving Yellowstone: The President Arthur Expedition of 1883
ISBN: 9781425771218 OCLC: 181072987

Sniktau Publications, Westminister, CO : ©2007.

Describes the August 1883 military expedition which was headed by President Chester A. Arthur and guided by Lt. Gen. Philip Sheridan, through the Wyoming Territory to reach Yellowstone National Park. Its goal was to inform citizens of the area's scenic attractions and the need to preserve the park.

The Dealmakers of Downstate Illinois: Paul Powell, Clyde L. Choate, John H. Stelle
ISBN: 0809334747 OCLC: 946887802

SIU Press 2016

Many people are unaware that from 1945 to 1975, downstate lawmakers dominated the Illinois political arena. In TheDealmakers of Downstate Illinois, Robert E. Hartley details the lives and contributions of three influential southern Illinois politicians, Paul Powell, Clyde Choate, and John Stelle. He describes how these

The Heroic and the Notorious: U.S. Senators from Illinois 2nd Edition
ISBN: 080933108X OCLC: 811410469

SIU Press Carbondale : 2012

This sweeping survey constitutes the first comprehensive treatment of the men and women who have been chosen to represent Illinois in the United States Senate from 1818 to the present day. David Kenney and Robert E. Hartley underscore nearly two centuries of Illinois history with these biographical and political portraits, compiling an incomparably rich resource for students, scholars, teachers, journalists, historians, politicians, and any Illinoisan interested in the state’s senatorial heritage. Originally published as An Uncertain Tradition: U.S. Senators From Illinois 1818–2003, this second edition brings readers up to date with new material on Paul Simon, Richard Durbin, and Peter Fitzgerald, as well as completely new sections on Roland Burris, Barack Obama, and Illinois’s newest senator, Mark Kirk. This fresh and careful study of the shifting set of political issues Illinois’s senators encountered over time is illuminated by the lives of participants in the politics of choice and service in the Senate. Kenney and Hartley offer incisive commentary on the quality of Senate service in each case, as well as timeline graphs relating to the succession of individuals in each of the two sequences of service, the geographical distribution of senators within the state, and the variations in party voting for Senate candidates. Rigorously documented and supremely readable, this convenient reference volume is enhanced by portraits of many of the senators.