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Essential Paul Simon

Essential Paul Simon

Timeless Lessons for Today's Politics

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Edited by John S. Jackson. Foreword by David Yepsen


E-book (Other formats: Hardcover)
6 x 9


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About the Book

One of the most admired public figures in Illinois’s history, journalist and politician Paul Simon dedicated his life to public service for more than four decades. During his lengthy and productive career, he often used his prolific writings as tools to establish a straightforward dialogue with his constituents. In The Essential Paul Simon: Timeless Lessons for Today’s Politics, editor John S. Jackson carefully selects the best of Simon’s decades of writings, which include newspaper columns, editorials, book chapters, and newsletters—works that, while written to address the challenges of Simon’s own era, still resonate with practical wisdom today. Jackson provides an introduction to each chapter, setting Senator Simon’s work into the context of its time and emphasizing the connection to today’s continuing political questions and conflicts.  He also contributes an annotated bibliography covering all of Paul Simon’s twenty-two books which will prove to be a handy guide to Simon’s publications.

While Simon covered a broad spectrum of topics in his written works, his mission throughout the years remained the same: to urge his constituents to study and understand issues that affected their daily lives and to make the complexities of politics accessible to the average citizen. An indispensable volume for voters and politicians alike, The Essential Paul Simon compiles some of the most thought-provoking writings from one of the keenest political minds in our nation’s history. Years after their publication, Simon’s eloquent and energetic conversations continue to provide witty, informative guidance through the maze of American politics and inspire the development of spirited public discussion and debate.

Certificate of Excellence from the Illinois State Historical Society, 2013


John S. Jackson is an emeritus professor of Political Science at SIUC and is currently a visiting professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute (PSPPI). He held a number of administrative positions at SIUC including Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, and Interim Chancellor, before his retirement. Jackson has published extensively in academic journals in political science as well as in a variety of other outlets and has published three prior books on presidential elections.  He originated and is the editor of the Simon Review papers—published by the PSPPI—and was a long-time friend and supporter of Paul Simon.