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    To Tell the Truth

    A New Jersey butcher’s son becomes an intrepid foreign correspondent, covering five decades of wars, revolutions, upheavals and famines throughout Asia and the Middle East, winning the Pulitzer Prize for an eighteen-month investigation that led to toppling the corrupt Marcos regime in the Philippines.

Section author

Lewis M. Simons

Pulitzer Prize winner Lewis M. Simons began his career as a foreign correspondent in 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War. He saw the war through to the end, covering the fall in quick succession of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Since then, Simons has reported on war, civil unrest, politics and economics from throughout Southeast Asia; India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh; Iraq and Iran; China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea, as well as the former Soviet Union. He was a staff correspondent for The Associated Press, the Washington Post, Time, and Knight-Ridder Newspapers.

Simons won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, in 1986, for exposing the billions that the Marcos family looted from the Philippines. Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism named the series one of 50 Great Stories of the Century. Simons was twice more a Pulitzer finalist and has received numerous other journalism awards, including the George Polk, and was an Edward R. Murrow Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Simons' op-ed and analytical articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, Atlantic and Smithsonian magazines. He has contributed frequently to National Geographic and his work is published in USA Today, where he is a member of its Board of Contributors, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast and Daily Kos. He has appeared on ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, BBC and CBC.

Lewis M. Simons

Lewis is co-author with Senator Christopher S. Bond of The Next Front: Southeast Asia and the Road to Global Peace with Islam. He also is author of Worth Dying For and a contributing author of half a dozen books on war and international affairs.

A former U.S. Marine, he is a graduate of New York University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is married to fellow journalist Carol Simons. They have three adult children and reside in Washington, DC.

Forward
Lewis M./ Simons shaking hands with The Dalai Lama

From the Foreword by The Dalai Lama

Journalists have an important role to educate and inform the public, as an observer and in an objective manner. That is what Lew Simons, whom, I have had the opportunity to meet several times, has been practicing while covering developments in different parts of the world. His revealing book, To Tell the Truth, is a testament to his application of this approach.

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GOODREADS

"Lewis Simons’ new memoir, TO TELL THE TRUTH: My Life as a Foreign Correspondent, gives the reader a first-hand (in the most literal way) account of what was going on in Vietnam and how it affected [the] neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia...
"This is not a 'war journal,' filled with blood, guts, heroics and brotherhood, as is the case with many books written by soldiers. Our hero doesn’t run headfirst into a hail of bullets to take out a platoon of NVA. There are heroics within these pages as well as blood and guts but what you will find here is the story of a man who put himself in harm’s way to get to the truth and make sure that information got to the people of the world.
"Lewis Simons got the truth out and he made a difference in a time before cell phones, internet and 24-hour news. It all seems more fantastic in 2022 where the truth changes depending on which television channel you’re watching."

BOOKLIST, the official publication of the National Library Association

November 1 issue:

"It is a privilege to read the stories of a professional journalist present at so many hugely significant events in Asia over the decades. Simons followed the journalistic ethics of observing and reporting but never participating in events. He now presents a memoir that covers war, political corruption, dictatorships, and just about every man-made and natural catastrophe you can think of across the southern and eastern expanse of Asia. Over a long career, Simons reported from Indochina, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Japan, and China, with a few postings in the U.S. as well. Simons has many lessons to teach and wisdom to impart to journalists, including to be objective and leave the commentary to others; the facts will speak for themselves. That said, this supremely well-written and thoroughly captivating narrative is much more than “just the facts” reporting. Simons is a wonderful storyteller and this is an invaluable chronicle of the experiences of a foreign correspondent. It is also a boon for readers interested in the complex relationships between Asia and the U.S. from the 1960s through the 2010s."