This sweeping survey constitutes the first comprehensive treatment of the men and women who have been chosen to represent Illinois in the United States Senate from 1818 to the present day. David Kenney and Robert E. Hartley underscore nearly two centuries of Illinois history with these biographical and political portraits, compiling an incomparably rich resource for students, scholars, teachers, journalists, historians, politicians, and any Illinoisan interested in the state’s senatorial heritage.
Originally published as An Uncertain Tradition: U.S. Senators From Illinois 1818–2003, this second edition brings readers up to date with new material on Paul Simon, Richard Durbin, and Peter Fitzgerald, as well as completely new sections on Roland Burris, Barack Obama, and Illinois’s newest senator, Mark Kirk. This fresh and careful study of the shifting set of political issues Illinois’s senators encountered over time is illuminated by the lives of participants in the politics of choice and service in the Senate. Kenney and Hartley offer incisive commentary on the quality of Senate service in each case, as well as timeline graphs relating to the succession of individuals in each of the two sequences of service, the geographical distribution of senators within the state, and the variations in party voting for Senate candidates. Rigorously documented and supremely readable, this convenient reference volume is enhanced by portraits of many of the senators.