Birch Bayh: Making a Difference

Birch Bayh: Making a Difference

by Robert Blaemire


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A remarkable history of one of the most legendary US senators of our time, Birch Bayh: Making a Difference reveals a life and career dedicated to the important issues facing Indiana and the nation, including civil rights and equal rights for women. Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, right before the Great Depression, Birch Bayh served more than 25 years in the Indiana General Assembly (1954–1962) and the United States Senate (1963–1981). His influence was seen in landmark legislation over his tenure, including Title IX, the 25th Amendment, the 26th Amendment, Civil Rights of the Institutionalized, Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Act, and the Bayh-Dole Act. Bayh was also the author, chief Senate sponsor, and floor leader of the Equal Rights Amendment and successfully led the opposition to two Nixon nominees to the Supreme Court. Robert Blaemire profiles not only the prolific career of this remarkable senator but also an era when compromise and bipartisanship were common in Congress.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780253039170
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication date: 05/01/2019
Pages: 484
Sales rank: 321,952
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Robert Blaemire began working for Senator Birch Bayh while a freshman in college and remained on his staff for the next 13 years. After Bayh's election defeat in 1980, Blaemire formed a political action committee, the Committee for American Principles, to combat the influence of the New Right in American politics. In 1982, he began a long career providing political computer services for Democratic candidates and progressive organizations. An early participant in the rise of big data, he owned and managed Blaemire Communications for 17 years. Born in Indiana, he lives in Bethesda, Maryland, and has two sons and a daughter-in-law.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Farmer, Soldier, Legislator

Chapter 2 – U. S. Senator

Chapter 3 –Assassination and Amendment - 1963

Chapter 4 - Crash and Constitution - 1964

Chapter 5 - Civil Rights, Guns & Vietnam – 1965-1968

Chapter 6 - 1968

Chapter 7 – Haynsworth – 1969-1970

Chapter 8 – Carswell – 1970

Chapter 9 - Campaign and Cancer - 1971

Chapter 10 – Title IX - 1972

Chapter 11 – Watergate - 1973

Chapter 12 – Bayh versus Lugar - 1974

Chapter 13 – National Interests - 1975

Chapter 14 – Bayh for President - 1976

Chapter 15 – The Carter Administration - 1977

Chapter 16 – Foreign Intelligence - 1978

Chapter 17 – The Death of Marvella 1979-1980

Chapter 18 – The Last Campaign - 1980

Chapter 19 – Capstone

What People are Saying About This

Norman Ornstein

Birch Bayh was one of the most consequential lawmakers of the 20th Century, responsible for constitutional amendments and a long list of legislative accomplishments that changed and improved America. Robert Blaemire has given us a biography that does justice to a great American, a vivid portrait of the man and the Senate at a time when Bayh could work with allies and adversaries alike.

Douglas Brinkley

Robert Blaemire’s Birch Bayh is a marvelous biography of Bayh, a dynamo in Indiana politics and the national scene throughout the 20th century. My take-away, after reading, was that Bayh, a consummate public servant, would have made an excellent president. Highly recommended!

Ted Widmer

The story of Birch Bayh’s political career is completely inspiring, especially in an era that has lost touch with bipartisanship and civility. A must read for Hoosiers and for anyone interested in how democracy worked, when it really worked.

Richard Lugar

My friend Birch Bayh has led a life of remarkable public service dedicated, always, to making a difference. His supporters and opponents will long remember his skill as a campaigner combined with his ability to reach across the political aisle and achieve Constitutional Amendments and timely legislation that strengthened our nation.

Geoffrey Paddock

Highlights the life of one of our most remarkable United States Senators, not just in Indiana but in the nation. Birch Bayh shows the dedication of a man to his state and country through more than 25 years of elected office.

Ray E. Boomhower

In Indiana’s, and the nation’s, political history, perhaps no elected official has produced the legislative achievements crafted by U.S. Senator Birch Bayh. In addition to authoring two constitutional amendments—the Twenty-Fifth and Twenty-Sixth—Bayh produced the landmark Title IX legislation, providing women with equal opportunities in public education. Bayh has long needed a comprehensive biography, and Robert Blaemire has provided an insider’s account of Bayh’s life and career and places him among Indiana’s leading political figures.

David Ignatius

Robert Blaemire’s celebration of Birch Bayh’s career evokes a different and better time in American politics, when leaders really did think about making a difference. There are many vivid portraits of Bayh’s work on landmark civil rights bills and other legislation. My favorite passage cites Bayh’s question for his staff when facing a tough choice: “Just tell me what you feel is the right thing to do.” Read this memoir and remember a time when people like Bayh, and the decent, compassionate politics of the heartland, were truly the American way.

Billie Jean King

As the father of Title IX, Birch Bayh has left a lasting impact on our country. In Birch Bayh: Making a Difference , it is clear his influence and his contributions will continue to affect all Americans for generations to come in many ways.

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