Richard A. Baker and Deirdre MacNeil, daughter of Neil MacNeil [LBJ Library photo by Lauren Gerson]

LBJ Foundation Names “The American Senate: An Insider’s History” Winner of 27th D.B. Hardeman Prize

May 18, 2015

AUSTIN – May 18, 2015 - The Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation awards the D.B. Hardeman Prize to the author(s) of the most significant book on the U.S. Congress, as chosen by the Hardeman Prize Selection Committee. This month, the LBJ Foundation is honoring Neil MacNeil and Richard A. Baker for their book The American Senate: An Insider’s Guide, published by Oxford University Press. 
The American Senate

In this groundbreaking work, “a distinguished journalist and an eminent historian provide an insider's history of the United States Senate,” according to Oxford University Press. “Richard A. Baker, historian emeritus of the Senate, and Neil 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 one eye on persistent structural pressures and the other on recent transformations.”

The $10,000 D.B. Hardeman Prize is awarded for the best book on the U.S. Congress, from the fields of biography, history, journalism and political science. Candidates are judged on their contribution to scholarship and to the public's understanding of Congress as well as literary craftsmanship, originality and depth of research. The prize was presented on May 7 at a dinner held at the LBJ Presidential Library.

“The American Senate is the best history in print of the U. S. Senate,” writes Dr. Jeremi Suri, a member of the Hardeman Prize Selection Committee. “The authors describe the evolution of the institution and the changing nature of the senators, their staffs, and their committees. They provide valuable insights for how legislation in our country has changed over time, and how it might continue to change in the future.”

Members of the 27th Hardeman Prize Selection Committee are Don Carleton, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History; Jason Casellas, University of Houston; Tom Daschle, DLA Piper; Lee Hamilton, Center on Congress at Indiana University; Thomas Mann, The Brookings Institution; Leslie Sanchez, Impacto Group, LLC; Clay Smith, Kirkus Media; Jeremi Suri, The University of Texas at Austin; Sean Theriault, The University of Texas at Austin; and Nancy Beck Young, University of Houston.

About the Authors
Neil MacNeil, a founding member of the PBS program Washington Week, first began to cover the Senate in 1949, and served as Time magazine's chief congressional correspondent for thirty years. He was also the author of Forge of Democracy: The House of Representatives and Dirksen: Portrait of a Public Man. He died in 2008, as this work was nearing completion.

Richard A. Baker was appointed the Senate's first official historian, a post he held from 1975 until his retirement in 2009. He produced a number of historical narratives, including 200 Notable Days: Senate Stories, 1787 to 2002 and Traditions of the United States Senate, and assisted Robert C. Byrd with The Senate, 1789-1989.

About the D.B. Hardeman Prize
D. Barnard Hardeman Jr. was a teacher, politician, and political advisor. He was a member of the Texas legislature before moving to Washington, D.C. in 1957 to serve as assistant to Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn. After Rayburn’s death in 1961, Hardeman worked for Majority Whip Hale Boggs of Louisiana, and in 1964 he was named the first Honorary Congressional Fellow by the American Political Science Association. Upon his death in 1981, Hardeman bequeathed the seed money to create the prize that bears his name as well as his extensive collection of books on American history and biography to the LBJ Presidential Library.

CONTACT: Anne Wheeler, [email protected], (512) 721-0216