Illinois State University Distinguished Professor Emeritus Mark Wyman will talk about his sixth book, Hoboes: Bindlestiffs, Fruit Tramps, and the Harvesting of the West, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 31, on the main floor of Milner Library. A book signing will follow his presentation. The presentation, the first of the Fall Speaker Series, is free and open to the public.
Labor, immigration and the frontier have been at the center of Wyman’s writing, research and teaching, which come together in his book Hoboes: Bindlestiffs, Fruit Tramps, and The Harvesting of the West.
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, an Amazon reviewer termed the book “fascinating, deeply researched and groundbreaking . . . stripping away the rust from hobo history and revealing the intricate, multi-ethnic tapestry that hung in the background of the Old West.” Publishers Weekly wrote “Historian Wyman offers a richly detailed study of the thousands of workers who followed the booming railroads west during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His extensive research translates into readable, often moving prose with details that illuminate the lives of previously obscure people.”
Wyman taught at Illinois State University in the History department from 1971 until his retirement in 2004. He is also the author of DP: Europe’s Displaced Persons 1945-1951, Immigrants in the Valley: Irish, Germans, and Americans in the Upper Mississippi Country, 1830-1860, The Wisconsin Frontier, Round-Trip to America: The Immigrants Return to Europe, 1880-1930, and Hard Rock Epic: Western Miners and the Industrial Revolution, 1860-1910.