Illinois Authors

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Chris Stevens

Connection to Illinois: Stevens lives in Pekin.

Biography: Chris Stevens is a writer and reporter for The Labor Paper in Peoria, Illinois. An expert on state labor issues, Chris has acted as a presenter and professional commentator in a variety of forums, including the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s Conference on Illinois History and The Union Edge radio program. He is a graduate of Knox College.

  • Forty Gavels Indie Book Award - Biography, NIEA Award - Biography, Midwest Book Award - Biography,

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

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Forty Gavels
ISBN: 0998257532 OCLC:

CWS Publishing 2018

FORTY GAVELS is the ground-breaking story of Illinois AFL-CIO President Reuben Soderstrom (1930-1970) and the American Labor Movement he helped build. For over four decades, Soderstrom led one of the nation's largest labor organizations through the most challenging, exciting, and impactful events of the twentieth century. From the depths of depression and war to the boom of postwar prosperity, through the birth of both the AFL-CIO and the Civil Rights Movement, Soderstrom was there, forging a legacy as one of organized labor's most prolific voices. Adopting a year-by-year study of these years, this three-volume biography follows Reuben to the front line of violent strikes, rowdy union meetings in Chicago, and policy summits at the White House, making Forty Gavels one of the most in-depth studies of the American Movement ever made.