The Rise and Fall of The “Empire” of One American University How a relatively insignificant midwestern university became a player in the Great Game—and lost.

Delyte Morris, considering the possibilities. (Photo courtesy Louisa H. Bowen University Archives & Special Collections, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.)

John Griswold

John Griswold is a staff writer at The Common Reader. His most recent book is a collection of essays, The Age of Clear Profit: Essays on Home and the Narrow Road (UGA Press 2022). His previous collection was Pirates You Don’t Know, and Other Adventures in the Examined Life. He has also published a novel, A Democracy of Ghosts, and a narrative nonfiction book, Herrin: The Brief History of an Infamous American City. He was the founding Series Editor of Crux, a literary nonfiction book series at University of Georgia Press. His work has been included and listed as notable in Best American anthologies.