Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Robert G. Hays  

Pen Name: Robert Hays

Genre: Fiction Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: May 23, 1935 in Carmi, Illinois

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-- Robert G. Hays on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Hays was born in Carmi, Illinois. He spent 11 years on the professional staff and faculty at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois and 33 years on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He currently resides in Champaign, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Hays has been a newspaper reporter, public relations writer and magazine editor. He served two years in the US Army (1955-57) as a draftee and earned three degrees, including an interdisciplinary Ph.D, from Southern Illinois University. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received international awards for teaching and communications research, he taught journalism from 1975 until his retirement in 2008. He holds emeritus faculty rank at the University of Illinois and he also taught in Texas and Missouri.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

G-2: Intelligence for Patton: (Schiffer Military History Book)
ISBN: 0764308009

Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.. 2004

The enigmatic science of military intelligence is examined in this personal record, written by Brig.Gen. Oscar W. Koch, who served during World War II as chief of intelligence for General George S. Patton, Jr., one of the most colorful military leaders in American history. General Koch traces the growth and development of the infant science through detailed accounts of the intelligence role in some of the most celebrated battles of the war, and through his personal remembrances of Patton and his relationships with members of his intelligence staff. His story moves from the African campaign through Sicily, into France on D-Day and on to the Battle of the Bulge, pointing out how the work of the intelligence staff made the differences in the final reckoning. General Kochs book is more than a historical study, however. It is the exciting story of the operations behind the cloak and dagger illusions.

Country editor: influence of a weekly newspaper,

Interstate Printers & Publishers. 1974

State Science in Illinois: The Scientific Surveys, 1850-1978
ISBN: 0809309432

Southern Illinois University Press. 1980

“Concern with ecology is not new,” writes Robert G. Hays, who traces the histories of three agencies founded over 100 years ago by farsighted people concerned with the quality of the environ­ment and the adequacy of resources in Illinois. The agencies, which presently direct their energies toward environ­mental problems and finding alternate fuel supplies, are the State Geological Survey (mineral product development) the State Water Survey (the quality and quantity of water for expanding popula­tions) and the State Natural History Survey (insect infestations, plant disease epidemics, inventory of plant and ani­mal life).

Hays shows the historical roots of the present surveys, recounts their most im­portant contributions, describes the spe­cific roles of survey administrators, and—after identifying major state prob­lems, needs, and policy issues—analyzes the responses of the surveys.

A Race at Bay: New York Times Editorials on "the Indian Problem," 1860 - 1900
ISBN: 0809320673

Southern Illinois University Press. 1997

Robert G. Hays chronicles the "Indian problem" precisely as it was explained to Americans through the editorial columns of the New York Times between 1860 and 1900, the years when battles between white settlers and Native Americans split a nation and its spirit apart.

Covering the final forty-one years of the nineteenth century, Hays’s collection of Times editorials gives readers what current accounts cannot: perspectives by contemporary writers with unique insights into the public images of Native Americans and their place in a nation bent on expansion. The authentic voices of a national newspaper’s daily record speak with an urgency both immediate and real.

These editorials express the unbridled bitterness and raw ambition of a nation immersed in an agenda of conquest. They also resonate with the struggle to find a common ground. Some editorials are patronizing and ironic: "Yet it seems pitiful to cage so fine a savage among a herd of vulgar criminals in a penitentiary." Others include a willingness to poke fun: "Many persons on the platform were astonished to find that an ‘illiterate barbarian’ could handle the weapon of sarcasm. The truth is that the Indians spoke far better than ninety-nine out of a hundred members of congress." And yet others evince an attitude of respect, which set the tone for reconciling national ambition with natural rights.

In some instances, the Times allowed Native Americans to tell their own stories, as in this eloquent, moving account of the testimony of Satanta, the warrior chief of the Kiowas: "A certain dim foreboding of the Indians’ fate swept across his mind, and in its passage lit his eyes up with a fierce light, and his voice rose to a pitch of frenzy as he exclaimed: ‘We don’t want to settle—I love to roam over the prairie there I am free and happy."

History demonstrates that the costs of owning one’s soil and one’s destiny remain without measure. Many of the problems blocking the progress of Native Americans continue unsolved: unemployment, infant mortality, suicide, crime, alcoholism, and poverty. Following such works as Helen Hunt Jackson’s A Century of Dishonor and Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Hays looks back on the records of national history for the roots of our challenges today.

Editorializing "The Indian Problem": The New York Times on Native Americans, 1860-1900
ISBN: 0809327627

Southern Illinois University Press. 2007

Drawing on four decades of New York Times editorials, Robert Hays demonstrates the magnitude of the conflict between Native American and white European cultures as settlers and adventurers spread rapidly across the continent in the post– Civil War period.
From 1860 through 1900, the Times published nearly a thousand editorials on what was commonly called “ the Indian problem.” Selecting some of the best of these editorials, Hays gives readers what current accounts cannot: contemporary writers’ perspectives on the public images of Native Americans and their place in a nation bent on expansion. Some editorials express the unbridled bitterness and raw ambition of a nation immersed in an agenda of conquest, while others resonate with the struggle to find a common ground. Still others evince an attitude of respect, which set the tone for reconciling national ambition with natural rights.
American history demonstrates time and again the price of Manifest Destiny.
Many of the issues confronting nineteenth-century Native Americans remain alive today: unemployment, infant mortality, suicide, crime, alcoholism, and poverty. In presenting the authentic and urgent voices of a national newspaper’ s daily record, Hays illuminates the roots of our current challenges.

Circles in the Water
ISBN: 0982115059

Vanilla Heart Publishing. 2008

The neighborhood was their world. Life in small-town South Carolina was simple for Jimmie, Colletta, Donnie and Ray-Gene. But when Donnie's mother killed his father, all that changed. They had to grow up too fast. This coming of age story, told through the eyes of Jimmie, leads the reader through his growing love of Colletta, the fear, the excitement, the let-downs, and the ultimate demise of childhood dreams.

The Life and Death of Lizzie Morris
ISBN: 1935407449

Vanilla Heart Publishing. 2009

Bradley Morris, a still-vital WWII vet, has awful memories of combat. He and Lizzie visit a Sicilian battlefield where he was mortally wounded and his best friend died. This brings peace of mind, but then Lizzie has a heart attack and lies near death. He recalls their lives--young sweethearts, going to war, raising kids, his alcoholism, facing the turmoil in their home town of Memphis after the MLK assassination. Can he keep promises, reconcile an old quarrel over Vietnam with a son, overcome the guilt of surviving war when his friend did not? And can he renew the faith he lost in battle?


Pushcart Prize Nominee, 2009, for ''The Life and Death of Lizzie Morris''

Speaking Engagements

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