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The Man Who Ran Washington: James A. Baker III
Peter Baker, The New York Times; Susan Glasser, The New Yorker

Monday, May 18, 2020 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

From left to right, top to bottom: Baker with President Gerald Ford, Baker with President George W. Bush, Baker with President George H.W. Bush, Baker with President Ronald Reagan

Event Details:

12:00 PM Luncheon, Program & Book Signing

“The Man Who Ran Washington” is the story of the amazing journey of a young, apolitical oil and gas lawyer from Houston who rose to become one of the most consequential secretaries of state in U.S. history. He served four U.S. presidents and helped a fifth one navigate a path from Florida to the Supreme Court and into the Oval Office. His Washington career was a triumph of what his biographers call “pragmatism over purity and deal-making over division, a lost art in today’s fractured nation.”

After James Baker’s young wife died, he was despondent. Believing that it would help Baker deal with his grief, tennis partner and friend George H.W. Bush encouraged Baker to chair Bush’s senate campaign. This act of kindness led Baker into President Richard Nixon’s 1972 presidential campaign and on to Washington, where he served in the administrations of Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Even after he returned to Houston, he was again called into service during the 2000 election’s Florida recount, summoned by his best friend’s son, George W. Bush.

James Baker held the offices of Undersecretary of Commerce, White House Chief of Staff, Treasury Secretary and Secretary of State. The authors call this important biography, “A case study in the acquisition, exercise, and preservation of power in late twentieth-century America and the story of Washington and the world in the modern era–how it once worked and how it has transformed into an era of gridlock and polarization.”

This is the second Gail Koppman History Lecture, in remembrance of a passionate educator, voracious reader and lifelong learner. 

Peter Baker is an award-winning journalist who has covered Washington for more than 30 years. He is the chief White House correspondent for the New York Times. Susan Glasser is a staff writer at The New Yorker and has served as a top editor for several Washington publications as well as editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy. This is the second book the married couple has co-authored. Their 2005 book, “Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the End of Revolution,” chronicled the four years they spent as Washington Post bureau chiefs in Moscow.


Location: Hotel Crescent Court – Gallery Ballroom
(400 Crescent Ct., Dallas, TX 75201)
Fees: $55 Members; $75 Non-Members
$750 Table
Calendar: Council Events
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