The Dealmakers of Downstate Illinois:
Paul Powell, Clyde L. Choate, John H. Stelle
Southern Illinois University Press, $29.95
In The Dealmakers of Downstate Illinois, Robert E. Hartley details the lives and contributions of three influential southern Illinois politicians, Paul Powell, Clyde Choate, and John Stelle. He describes how these “dealmakers” were able to work with Democrats and Republicans throughout the state to bring jobs and facilities to their region. Using a variety of coalitions, they maintained downstate political strength in the face of growing Chicago influence.
Beginning with an account of early experiences, including the battlefield courage that earned Choate the Medal of Honor as well as Stelle’s World War I experience and later entrepreneurship, the book continues with an exploration of the groundwork for their collaborative legislative agenda and their roles in the growth of Southern Illinois University and the passage of income tax legislation.
The Dealmakers of Downstate Illinois is a vivid, straightforward tale of fighting in the legislative chambers, backstabbing behind the scenes, and trading special favors for votes in pursuit of not only personal gain but also the advancement of a regional agenda.
Awarded a Certificate of Superior Achievement from the Illinois State Historical Society.
208 pages, 6 x 9, 11 Illus.
Southern Illinois University Press
Veteran journalist Hartley captures neatly the ‘do good and do well’ political culture of southern Illinois through incisive portraits of three of the region’s most colorful and effective political leaders.