We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

The Essential Paul Simon

Timeless Lessons for Today's Politics

Edited by John S. Jackson. Foreword by David Yepsen

Publication Year: 2012

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.


Published by: Southern Illinois University Press


pdf iconDownload PDF

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. v-xvi

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. xvii-xviii

During his lifetime, Illinois senator Paul Simon wrote a trove of material: columns from his early newspaper and state legislative careers, newsletters to constituents written as a congressman and then as a senator, essays written as lieutenant governor of Illinois, and op-eds and radio...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. xix-xxix

Paul Simon started out as a journalist who then became a politician. But despite the extraordinary demands on his time and energy that came from being a public official for over forty years, Simon never gave up his writing. He wrote constantly and obsessively about public policy, politics, government, the major issues of the...

read more

1. The Early Days

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 1-17

Chapter 1 includes several selections from Paul Simon’s early career. These selections start with columns from the Troy Tribune, which was the first newspaper Paul bought and edited at the tender age of nineteen. The newspaper was essentially defunct when Paul purchased it, and he had...

read more

2. American Government and Politics

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 18-59

The selections in chapter 2 deal with Paul Simon’s thoughts and observations on the broad gamut of American government and politics at the federal and state levels. He served at both levels and for about the same amount of time, eighteen years in state government and twenty-two years...

read more

3. Guidance on Continuing Problems and Issues

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 60-143

Paul Simon was a person of broad and diverse interests. He was deeply concerned about a wide variety of public policy issues, and he delved into a number of causes during his long career. In contrast, the legislative process, especially the Congress of the United States, rewards specialization and focus. Political scientists who study...

read more

4. Foreign and Defense Policy

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 144-195

In the U.S. Senate, Paul Simon was a natural fit for the Foreign Relations Committee, and he spent ten of his twelve years in the Senate on that committee. Evidence of his early interest in foreign policy was already available when he took trips to the Middle East while he was still in the Illinois General Assembly, and he...

read more

5. The Budget and the Deficit

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 196-238

It seems that everywhere we look today there are articles and news reports about the federal budget and the deficit and competing plans for how to handle them. Public opinion polls consistently show that these problems, along with the economy in general,...

read more

6. Culture, History, and Politics

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 239-284

Paul Simon loved history and read voraciously about it and the prominent leaders who shaped our nation and the world. He was always seeking to learn the lessons that can be extracted from history and to discover what the lives of famous and successful leaders can teach us. These are recurring themes in his...

read more

7. Leadership and Courage

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 285-314

Paul Simon articulated a consistent philosophical position on the concept of representation, which was that, as Edmund Burke advocated, the political leader had an obligation to be honest and forthright in his commitment to public service,...

Appendix: Annotated Bibliography of the Books of Paul Simon

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 315-332


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 333-334


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 335-350

Author Biogrpahy

pdf iconDownload PDF
p. 351

Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF

E-ISBN-13: 9780809331932
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809331925

Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 810924727
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Essential Paul Simon

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1989.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1989-.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- Philosophy.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- 1945-1989.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- 1989-.
  • United States -- Foreign relations -- Philosophy.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access