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KNOXVILLE — “Howard H. Baker, Jr.: A Life in Public Service,” a conference examining the career of the senator, will bring together noted scholars and journalists from around the country on Nov. 16-17 in the Toyota Auditorium of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

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

The conference will be webcast. During the conference, items from the Modern Political Archives illustrating Baker’s life and work will be on display.

Among the conference’s speakers and panelists:

  • Professor Steven V. Roberts, George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs. A well-known commentator on many Washington-based TV shows, Roberts lectures widely on American politics and the role of the news media. He was a Capitol Hill correspondent for The New York Times during Sen. Baker’s Senate career.
  • Professor Wendy Schiller, Brown University.
  • Professor Keith Whittington, Princeton University.
  • Professor David B. Cohen, University of Akron.
  • Professor Charles E. Walcott, Virginia Tech.
  • Professor Jeffrey Rosen, George Washington University Law School and legal affairs editor of The New Republic.
  • Eric S. Perlstein, author of “Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus” and “Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America.” A former writer for The Village Voice and The New Republic, he is now a contributor to Newsweek and the American Prospect.
  • James Hamilton, former assistant chief majority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee.

This is the first of several events the Baker Center plans to produce from the work of the Baker Studies Program and the Modern Political Archives. The Baker Studies Program is a forum for exploring the values that Sen. Baker epitomized in his career in public service. The Modern Political Archives, housed at the Baker Center, include the papers of Sen. Baker and many of Tennessee’s most accomplished modern political leaders and jurists.

For more about the Baker Center, see and for more information about this program, see


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,