What brings real change?
In his candid memoir, progressive Chicago politician Dick Simpson shares his struggles to bring about social change. Striking the perfect balance between historical context, autobiography, and lessons learned, Simpson chronicles what worked, what didn't, and why.
A longtime activist professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a former Chicago alderman, Simpson is an expert on Chicago politics, political reform, and elections in general. He has published widely and affected public policy.
Simpson is a progressive thinker whose values were shaped by early civil rights struggles. His passion for social justice and democracy earned him a place in line at a 1960 stand-in and a top spot in Eugene McCarthy's presidential run. Simpson demonstrated at the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention and protested Reaganomics in a march on Washington. In the 1970s, this young and independent-minded Chicago alderman angered boss Mayor Daley so much that he ordered the sergeant-at-arms to force Simpson into his seat. He didn't bow to the machine then, and hasn't done so since.
Colleague, friend, and adviser to such Chicago personalities as Studs Terkel, Don Rose, Carol Moseley Braun, and Mayor Harold Washington, Simpson is called on to do over 100 media interviews a year. He is also an accomplished Africanist.
Over his 50-year career as a political science professor and politician, Dick Simpson has devoted much of his energy to advancing the cause of democracy and participatory politics. He resides in Chicago, where he continues to oppose the power of the political machine.