A TIME FOR REFLECTION: Memoirs of a Life

William E. Simon, Author, Bill Simon, Author, Gerald R. Ford, Author
William E. Simon, Author, Bill Simon, Author, Gerald R. Ford, Author , forewords by Gerald R. Ford and George P. Shultz. Regnery $27.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-89526-170-0
Reviewed on: 02/02/2004
Release date: 12/01/2003
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If Bill Simon had something on his mind, he said it. Outspoken and honest to a fault, Simon was a man of action, a man who loved taking risks and beating the odds. His admirers spoke of his passion, his sharp intelligence and his conviction, while his enemies labeled him "controversial" and "William the Terrible," among other things. He is well known as secretary of the treasury under Presidents Nixon and Ford, but Simon, who died in June 2000, wore many hats, from Wall Street phenom to U.S. Olympic Committee president and explorer. His last book, written with and completed by John M. Caher, offers an inside look into this extraordinary life, from his boyhood days, to his Wall Street successes, to his political adventures. While in Washington, Simon began to develop his penchant for private enterprise into a cohesive political philosophy. He studied free-market principles and encouraged their application to public policy. In the following years, he became a major figure in the conservative movement, supporting Reagan and backing and presiding over a conservative think tank, the Olin Foundation. No doubt, those of a more liberal bent will find Simon's ideas infuriating. But Simon has garnered a broad readership and many will find his book thoroughly engaging. It is not shy about Simon's politics, but unlike Simon's previous books, it is not strictly a forum for the author's conservative views. It is, more accurately, the story of Simon's life, an articulate and inspiring read, and an absorbing look at the financial and political worlds seen through the eyes of an endearingly forthright man. (Feb. 3)

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