Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  John Y. Simon  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1933 in Highland Park, Illinois

Died: 2008 in Carbondale, Illinois

-- John Y. Simon on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

John taught at the University of Illinois for 44 years.

Biographical and Professional Information

John was on the history faculty of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, for 44 years. Simon had MA and PhD history degrees from Harvard University. He received the Lincoln Prize Special Achievement Award in 2004 from the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College for his then-24, later 31 volume Grant series.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Ulysses S. Grant: Essays and Documents (Occasional Publications (Ulysses S. Grant Association).)
ISBN: 0809310198

Southern Illinois University Press. 1981

An occasional publication of the Ulysses S. Grant Association that serves to supplement The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant by providing both interpretations of Grant and source material impossible or inappropriate to include in the volumes. This volume also provides an ap­propriate vehicle for the Association editors to use the recently developed computer-assisted text-processing methods.

The entire manuscript was stored and edited on magnetic computer tape at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Mne­monic coding of the final tape was ac­complished with definitions developed by Southern Illinois University Press, reducing the typesetter’s function to making minor adjustments in his programs to accept the tape.

These six articles and documents cover a wide range of topics. Richard N. Current and E. B. Long call for a reappraisal of Grant, with Current examining Grant’s role as a leader of a nation only nominally at peace and Long focusing on the controversies sur­rounding his generalship. Charles G. Elling­ton traces Grant’s journey across the Isthmus of Panama in 1852, which left him with a life­long desire to build a transcontinental canal. Horatio E. Wirtz examines Grant’s little-known role as a mediator in a dispute be­tween China and Japan over the Ryukyu Islands. John M. Hoffman presents an un­published account of the battle of Chat­tanooga from the journal of Quartermaster General M. C. Meigs. David L. Wilson and John Y. Simon make available a memoir by Grant’s personal cipher clerk and telegra­pher, Samuel H. Beckwith.

The Era of Civil War, 1848-1870 (Sesquicentennial History)
ISBN: 0252013395

University of Illinois Press. 1987

Lincoln's Generals (Gettysburg Civil War Institute Books)
ISBN: 0195101103

Oxford University Press. 1995

From the moment the battle ended, Gettysburg was hailed as one of the greatest triumphs of the Union army. Celebrations erupted across the North as a grateful people cheered the victory. But Gabor Boritt turns our attention away from the rejoicing millions to the dark mood of the White House--where Lincoln cried in frustration as General Meade let the largest Confederate army escape safely into Virginia. Such unexpected portraits abound in Lincoln's Generals, as a team of distinguished historians probes beyond the popular anecdotes and conventional wisdom to offer a fascinating look at Lincoln's relationship with his commanders.
In Lincoln's Generals, Boritt and his fellow contributors examine the interaction between the president and five key generals: McClellan, Hooker, Meade, Sherman, and Grant. In each chapter, the authors provide new insight into this mixed bag of officers and the president's tireless efforts to work with them. Even Lincoln's choice of generals was not as ill-starred as we think, writes Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark E. Neely, Jr.: compared to most Victorian-era heads of state, he had a fine record of selecting commanders (for example, the contemporary British gave us such bywords for incompetence as "the charge of the Light Brigade," while Napoleon III managed to lose the entire French army). But the president's relationship with his generals was never easy. In these pages, Stephen Sears underscores McClellan's perverse obstinancy as Lincoln tried everything to drive him ahead. Neely sheds new light on the president's relationship with Hooker, arguing that he was wrong to push the general to attack at Chancellorsville. Boritt writes about Lincoln's prickly relationship with the victor of Gettysburg, "old snapping turtle" George Meade. Michael Fellman reveals the political stress between the White House and William T. Sherman, a staunch conservative who did not want blacks in his army but who was crucial to the war effort. And John Y. Simon looks past the legendary camaraderie between Lincoln and Grant to reveal the tensions in their relationship.
Perhaps no other episode has been more pivotal in the nation's history than the Civil War--and yet so much of these massive events turned on a few distinctive personalities. Lincoln's Generals is a brilliant portrait that takes us inside the individual relationships that shaped the course of our most costly war.

Grant and Halleck: Contrasts in Command (Frank L. Klement Lectures)
ISBN: 0874623294

Marquette Univ Pr. 1996

Book by Simon, John Y.

New Perspectives on the Civil War: Myths and Realities of the National Conflict (Modernity and Political Thought)
ISBN: 0742521206

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 2001

As the American Civil War recedes into the past, popular fascination continues to rise. Once a matter that chiefly concerned veterans, separately organized North and South, who gathered to refight old battles and to memorialize the heroes and victims of war, the Civil War has gradually become part of a collective heritage. Issues raised by the war, including its causes and consequences, reverberate through contemporary society. Family and community connections with the war exist everywhere, as do battlefields, memorials, and other physical reminders of the conflict. We, as Americans, are fascinated by the sheer magnitude of the war fought over thousands of miles of American soil and resulting in awesome casualties. It was a gigantic national drama enacted by people who seem both contemporary and remote. Here for the first time, leading Civil War scholars gather to sort out the fact and fiction of our collective memories. Contributors include Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark E. Neely, Jr., Alan T. Nolan, John Y. Simon, James I. 'Bud' Robertson, Jr., Gary W. Gallagher, Joseph T. Glatthaar, and Ervin L. Jordan, Jr.

The Lincoln Forum: Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg, and the Civil War
ISBN: 1882810376

Da Capo Press. 1999

A recent conference on Lincoln at Gettysburg resulted in this remarkable book of essays by distinguished Civil War scholars and Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor, with an introduction by William C. Davis.