“Somehow, Steve Simon was able to create photographs of the event that stand apart from all others–stunning, unique, intelligent and thought-provoking images which help us to consider the very health of our democracy“.
Stacey D. Clarkson, Art Director , Harper’s Magazine
“Steve Simon set to work to capture, in stark, disturbing and yet often ruefully funny black and white photographs, images of that summer’s Republican Convention. The book is a terrifying tour de force: half circus, half Armageddon. It’s tempting to think of Republicans as inevitably easy to caricature, but there are shots here of a tumult of true believers all tinctured to death with memories — of 9/11, of Iraq, abortion phobia and of God’s once being on their side — that make your blood run cold.”
Gary Michael Dault, The Toronto Globe and Mail
“Steve Simon behaves differently. He shows us the staging off-camera and television personalities before they compose their august on-air expressions. He gives us the blur of the secret service removing an unwanted dissident from the arena. Simon is an unusual type of spy, one who records information others regard as irrelevant. We live still in an age when public debate is carefully choreographed, under a government that prizes control. In this setting, in these times, Simon’s images remain renegade.”
Mark Engler, from the introduction to The Republicans
Steve Simon was one of 15,000 accredited members of the press covering the Republican National Convention in which 5,000 delegates, protected by 10,000 New York City police officers, re-nominated George Bush as President. As the week-long media extravaganza and coronation got underway, it met the largest demonstrations ever to greet an American political convention. More than 400,000 protesters marched past a heavily fortified Madison Square Garden, exercising their right to free speech. Simon’s work, which Harper’s magazine’s Stacy Clarkson has described as “photographs of the event that stand apart from all others–stunning, unique, intelligent and thought-provoking images which help us to consider the very health of our democracy,” illuminates a pivotal time in the history of the “Divided States of America,” the land of the free, where passionately diverging points of view meet unprecedented new levels of security.