Author and Editor


Paul Simon:
The Political Journey of an Illinois Original

Southern Illinois University Press, $29.95

Robert Hartley presents the first thorough, objective volume on the journalistic and political career of one of Illinois’s most respected public figures. Hartley’s detailed account offers a fully rounded portrait of a man whose ideals and tenacity not only spurred reform on both state and national levels during his celebrated forty-year career but also established the lasting legacy of a political legend.

Simon first became a public figure at the age of nineteen, when he assumed the post of editor and publisher of a weekly newspaper in Troy, Illinois. From there, he used his paper to launch a fierce crusade against the crime and corruption plaguing Madison County.

Entering the political arena in 1954, Simon served in the state House and state Senate and as lieutenant governor. His race for governor in 1972 ended in defeat, to Dan Walker. He moved on to service t the federal level with election to Congress in 1974 and a victory for the U. S. senate in 1984. He retired in 1997 and established the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

In the Senate, Simon committed time and energy to the myriad issues of interest to him, especially in the field of education, with one of his biggest successes coming with the passage of the National Literacy Act, which he sponsored. He continued to foster his ties to journalism authoring numerous books, articles, and columns, all of which he used to relentlessly promote open government and social programs.

Hartley provides a candid perspective on Simon’s accomplishments and victories, as well as his mistakes and losses, revealing new insights into the life of this widely respected public figure.

Awarded a Certificate of Superior Achievement from the Illinois State Historical Society.

simon_persp_250Product Detail:
296 pages, 6 x 9, 21 Illus.
SIU Press

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Hartley’s writing style is an appealing mix of the down-to-earth journalist and academic interpreter. His manner with words is encompassing, quite suitable for the bulk of folks who are not political junkies.

Illinois Times