James Baker

Easton Press James Baker books

The Politics of Diplomacy - signed first edition - 1995
Work Hard, Study and Keep Out of Politics - signed first edition - 2007

Who is James Baker?

James Addison Baker III, born on April 28, 1930, in Houston, Texas, is an American statesman and political figure who played a significant role in U.S. government and foreign policy for several decades. Known for his strategic intellect and diplomatic skills, Baker served in key positions under three different U.S. presidents. Baker's political journey gained prominence during the administration of President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. From 1981 to 1985, he served as the White House Chief of Staff, demonstrating organizational prowess and a keen understanding of the political landscape. His influence expanded further when he took on the role of Secretary of the Treasury from 1985 to 1988, where he played a crucial role in shaping economic policies, including the landmark Tax Reform Act of 1986.

Baker's diplomatic acumen became particularly evident during the administration of President George H.W. Bush. In 1989, he was appointed as the 61st Secretary of State, overseeing a period of profound global change, including the end of the Cold War. Baker skillfully navigated the complexities of international relations, managing the United States' response to the reunification of Germany, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Gulf War in 1990-1991. During the Gulf War, Baker played a key role in building an international coalition to oppose the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. His diplomatic efforts resulted in a broad alliance of nations working together to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation. His contributions to these diplomatic endeavors earned him widespread praise and recognition.

After leaving the position of Secretary of State in 1992, Baker remained an influential figure in Republican politics. He served as Chief of Staff to President George H.W. Bush during his final year in office. Additionally, Baker was a pivotal figure in the legal team that represented George W. Bush in the controversial 2000 presidential election recount in Florida, ultimately leading to Bush's victory. James Baker's career reflects a unique combination of political skill, fiscal expertise, and diplomatic finesse. His legacy extends beyond partisan lines, as he is remembered as one of the most accomplished and respected figures in American politics and international relations.

The Politics of Diplomacy

By anyone's reckoning, James Baker's years as Secretary of State contained some of the most pivotal events of the second half of the 20th century, and few men played as crucial a role in so many of them as did Baker. This candid, revealing account offers readers a unique perspective on such world-shaking events as the fall of the Eastern Bloc, the invasion of Panama, the Gulf War, and the birth of freedom in South Africa.

'Work Hard, Study...and Keep Out of Politics!': Adventures and Lessons from an Unexpected Public Life

A revelatory memoir from one of the great political minds of our time.

The real inside story of why Gerald Ford did not ask Ronald Reagan to be his running mate in 1976-and why Reagan did not pick Ford in 1980; the battle over Florida 2000; the aborted White House job switch that inadvertently opened the door to the Iran-Contra scandal; the Bush campaign's wish that Dan Quayle would offer to resign from the ticket in 1992; the White House turmoil in the dark days following the Reagan assassination attempt; and a great deal more . . .

White House Chief of Staff (twice), Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, and campaign chairman for three different candidates in five successive presidential campaigns-few people have lived and breathed politics as deeply as James Baker. Now, with candor and Texas-style storytelling, and not a few surprises, he takes us into his thirty-five years behind the scenes.

None of it was planned. His grandfather, the "Captain," drilled this advice into him: "Work hard, study. . . and keep out of politics!" Then a personal tragedy changed the life of a forty-year-old Texas Democratic lawyer and he never looked back. From campaign horsetrading, which sometimes got rough ("Politics ain't beanbag," says Baker), to the inner councils of the Reagan and Bush administrations to the controversies of today, Baker offers frank talk and spellbinding narratives, along with personal appraisals of six presidents and a constellation of others. It was a long, unexpected journey from Houston, Texas, to Washington, D.C.-and you'll want to travel it with him.

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