Book Description: Missionaries and Muckrakers goes well beyond the standard college history's focus on faculty leaders and student achievements, college-community relations, and educational philosophy to portray Knox College's influential role in the nation's social and political affairs and the literary history of the Middle West. Muelder's chronicle, which begins in 1837, follows the fortunes and personalities of a small Illinois college through the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and Depression years. He tells of the founding of a "Prairie College" by abolitionist missionaries during the Great Revival, of Lincoln debating Douglas on the slavery issue, of Knox "academic" carpetbaggers in the South, of the first black man in Illinois to receive a college degree, of the student sit-down strike which led to the admission of women to a full college course, of Knox's status as a preeminent competitor in intercollegiate oratorical contests, and of the student paper editors who went on to found the foremost muckraking journal of the twentieth century - McClure's Magazine. But it is the literary societies, their leaders, and ideas which occupy a major part of center stage in the Knox College story. The school attracted a host of progressive literary and political speakers, who in turn influenced the careers of such writers as Carl Sandburg, Edgar Lee Masters, Eugene Field, and the men and women of the Chicago Renaissance. An impressive legacy, to say the least.