Power Player: Why James Baker Is The Man Who Ran Washington : 1A "I think that [Baker] has this ability to engage with people across many different lines...in a way, coming from this very patrician background gave him a kind of self-confidence others don't have, coming into Washington," co-author Susan Glasser says.

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Power Player: Why James Baker Is The Man Who Ran Washington

Power Player: Why James Baker Is The Man Who Ran Washington

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James A. Baker III (L), former Secretary of State and chief of staff under the Regan and Bush Sr. administrations on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. KAREN BLEIER/KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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KAREN BLEIER/KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images

James A. Baker III (L), former Secretary of State and chief of staff under the Regan and Bush Sr. administrations on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

KAREN BLEIER/KAREN BLEIER/AFP via Getty Images

If you ask its critics, Washington, D.C. is a city where ideas come to die.

But there was a time when the nation's capital got things done, politically speaking. An age for big and bold ideas. And for decades, the key to getting things done was one chief political wrangler. He's the subject of a comprehensive new account from the award-winning authors Susan Glasser and Peter Baker.

They've spent the past six years speaking to hundreds of sources to help them chronicle the life of James Baker. The result is their new book, "The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III."

We sat with Peter and Susan to learn more about their research and how Jim's life and legacy helped shape today's politics.

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