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Conference on Howard H. Baker, Jr.: A Life in Public Service

Feature-Baker Conference
A conference examining the career of Senator Howard H. Baker’s will take place November 16-17 in the Baker Center’s Toyota Auditorium.  The conference, entitled Howard H. Baker, Jr.: A Life in Public Service, brings together noted scholars and journalists from around the country to discuss the impact that Senator Baker continues to have on public life.  This exciting event is the first of many we hope to produce from the work of the Baker Studies Program and the Modern Political Archives.

The Baker Studies Program provides a unique forum for exploring the values that Senator Baker epitomized in his career in public service. It is hoped that public policy decision makers will be inspired by that career and will espouse those values that were Senator Baker’s hallmark.  The Baker Studies Program also encourages and facilitates the maximum use of the Modern Political Archives housed at the Baker Center. These archives, which include the papers of Senator Baker and many of Tennessee’s most accomplished modern political leaders and jurists, are a significant and substantial resource for scholars, journalists, students, and others interested in regional and national history. For instance, the archives’ Oral History Program includes the transcripts of some 300 interviews

Toward that end, this conference will explore topics ranging from Senator Baker’s role in the Senate Watergate Committee’s investigation to the service rendered by Senator Baker as Senate minority and majority leader, President Richard Nixon’s overtures to Senator Baker as a possible successor to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan, and Senator Baker’s tenure as White House Chief of Staff to President Ronald Reagan.

The conference is free and open to the public and will be available to view via webcast.  During the conference items from our Modern Political Archives illustrating Howard H. Baker, Jr.’s career will be on display.    Proceedings of papers and panel discussion will be published in a forthcoming number of the Baker Center Journal of Applied Public Policy.

Abbreviated Itinerary

(Download speaker bios and pictures)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Conflict & Conciliation:  Lessons from Baker’s Leadership in the U.S. Senate

9-11:45 a.m.

  • Prof. Steven V. Roberts, George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs and former Capitol Hill correspondent for The New York Times during Sen. Baker’s Senate career.
  • Prof. Wendy Schiller, Brown University Department of Political Science

Panel Discussion:  Howard Baker as U.S. Senator

Moderator:  TBA

At the Helm:  Challenges in Running the Modern White House

1:00-3:45 p.m.

Lectures by

  • Prof. Keith Whittington, Princeton University Department of Political Science
  • Prof. David B. Cohen, University of Akron Department of Political Science
  • Prof. Charles E. Walcott, Virginia Tech Department of Political Science

Panel Discussion:  Howard Baker as White House Chief of Staff

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Allies & Adversaries:  Howard Baker’s Complicated Relationship with Richard Nixon


Lectures by

  • Prof. Jeffrey Rosen, George Washington University Law School
  • Eric S. Perlstein, author of Before the Storm:  Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (2001), and Nixonland:  The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (2008); former writer for The Village Voice and The New Republic;.and recent contributor to Newsweek and the American Prospect.
  • James Hamilton, Esq., Former Assistant Chief Majority Counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee
  • Panel Discussion:  Howard Baker’s Role in the Watergate Hearings

Download speaker bios and pictures

The conference is free and open to the public and will be available to view via webcast.

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