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Richard Baker

UMass Amherst Alum and Senate Historian Gathers Faculty, Alumni, Politicians in Capitol to Discuss New Book

Richard Baker, class of ’61, discusses his book, The American Senate: An Insider’s History, at special Washington D.C. event hosted by Rep. Jim McGovern

On December 12, 2013 in the Congressional Visitors Center, D.C., historian emeritus of the United States Senate and UMass Amherst Alumnus Richard Baker presented and discussed his new book, The American Senate: An Insider’s History, with alumni, faculty, politicians, and other respected guests. The College of Humanities and Fine Arts and UMass Amherst Libraries sponsored this unique event, hosted by Congressman James McGovern, D-MA.

Political enthusiasts encountered a one-of-a-kind discussion of Baker’s book in the context of current events. Professors Emeriti of history Bruce Laurie and Ronald Story moderated and participated in the discussion.

In his groundbreaking work, The American Senate: An Insider’s History (co-written with the late Neil MacNeil), Baker provides an insider’s history of the United States Senate from the country’s founding to the present day. Baker and MacNeil, former chief congressional correspondent for Time magazine, integrate nearly a century of combined experience on Capitol Hill with deep research and state-of-the-art scholarship. They explore the Senate’s historical evolution with a focus on persistent structural pressures as well as on recent transformations.

Baker graduated from UMass Amherst in 1961 with a B.A. in history. After earning masters degrees from Columbia University and Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Maryland, College Park, Baker went on to become the Senate’s first official historian. He directed the United States Historical Office from the time of its creation in 1975 through 2009.


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Last Edited: 16 December 2013