Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jim Ridings  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1950 Joliet, Illinois

-- Jim Ridings on WorldCat --

E-Mail: --

Illinois Connection

Ridings lives in Herscher.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jim Ridings graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in journalism. He worked on daily newspapers in Ottawa and Aurora, Illinois, and won awards for investigative reporting at both newspapers. He has authored more than a dozen books of local history, which have won awards from the Illinois State Historical Society and the Illinois Humanities Council.


County West Illinois State Historical Society Award County West Companion Illinois State Historical Society Award Cardiff: Ghost Town on the Prairie Illinois State Historical Society Award Studs Terkel Award, Illinois Humanities Council, 2006 Cardiff 2:A Further History of the Ghost Town on the Prairie Illinois State Historical Society Award Greetings from Starved Rock Illinois State Historical Society Award

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Selected Titles At Your Library

Chicago to Springfield :
ISBN: 9781439625736. OCLC Number: 709780050

Arcadia Pub.,. .

The story of Chicago gangsters in the 1920s is legendary. Less talked about is the tale of the politicians who allowed those gangsters to thrive. During the heyday of organized crime in the Prohibition era, Chicago mayor Big Bill Thompson and Gov. Len Small were the two most powerful political figures in Illinois. Thompson campaigned on making Chicago a wide open town for bootleggers. Small sold thousands of pardons and paroles to criminals, embezzled $1 million, and was then acquitted after mobsters bribed the jury. This book is the story of those Jazz Age politicians whose careers in government thrived on and endorsed corruption and racketeering, from Chicago to Springfield. It complements author Jim Ridings's groundbreaking biography, Len Small: Governors and Gangsters, which was praised by critics and situated Ridings as a trailblazer among Chicago crime authors.

Greetings from Starved Rock :
ISBN: 0982408099. OCLC Number: 758981167

Side Show Books,. .

Kankakee County Confidential :
ISBN: 9780692787014. OCLC Number: 978353844

. .

Len Small :
ISBN: 0982408005. OCLC Number: 435530102

Side Show Books,. .

"Len Small was governor of Illinois during most of the 1920s. Almost all of Al Capone's career in Chicago happened at the same time, and there definitely was a tie between the governor and the gangster ..."--Back cover.

Ottawa /
ISBN: 0738588571. OCLC Number: 738363666

Arcadia Pub.,. .

Wild Kankakee :
ISBN: 9780982408087. OCLC Number: 806230492

Side Show Books,. .