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October 27, 2006

Press Contact: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or

Two Award-Winning Journalists Examine Washington’s Most Private Public Figures, Oct. 30

Alicia Shepard

Bill Minutaglio

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WHAT: Book Talk, Signing and Reception with authors Bill Minutaglio and Alicia Shepard, also featured speakers at the 2006 Texas Book Festival
WHEN: Monday, Oct. 30, 6 p.m.
WHERE: Sheffield Room, The University of Texas School of Law (Maps and directions:
WHO: Free and Open to the Public

AUSTIN, Texas—Award-winning journalists Bill Minutaglio and Alicia C. Shepard will discuss their recently published books at a lecture—Investigating Washington’s Most Private Public Figures—on Monday, Oct. 30, at The University of Texas School of Law. The talk is free and open to the public and a reception will follow.

The event—sponsored by the Tarlton Law Library, the UT Law Communications Office and the Society of Professional Journalists UT Student Chapter—begins at 6 p.m. in the Law School’s Sheffield Room.

In their latest books, Minutaglio and Shepard have written about people – Alberto Gonzales, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein -- who are enormously private and yet by virtue of their careers became some of the most powerful, public figures in Washington and the United States.  

The two journalists, who are also featured authors at the 2006 Texas Book Festival in Austin on Oct. 28-29, will sign copies of their books after the lecture.

In “The President’s Counselor, The Rise to Power of Alberto Gonzales,” Minutaglio documents the career of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who is one of the most guarded, influential men in recent American history. The New York Times recently wrote about Minutaglio’s book:  “He has carefully amassed a wealth of information …Minutaglio’s fascinating book…goes a long way toward removing the veil Gonzales has tried to drape over his career.”

Minutaglio is also the author of “First Son: George W. Bush & the Bush Family Dynasty” (the “most authoritative Bush biography” – The Chicago Tribune) and “City on Fire”(among “the greatest life-or-death tales ever told” – Esquire . . . “one of the finest books ever written about Texas” – The Texas Observer). He has written for many publications including Talk, the New York Times, Outside, and Details, among others. His work was featured, along with that of Ernest Hemingway, in Esquire's list of the greatest tales of survival ever written.

In “Woodward and Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate,” Shepard investigates the professional and personal lives of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two most famous and influential journalists of our time. “Alicia Shepard has written a brilliant biography of two giants of American Journalism,” wrote Michael Isikoff in Newsweek. And the New York Sun recently wrote, “A richly detailed book that does justice to both history and biography, an impressive achievement in a well-wrought narrative.”

Shepard teaches journalism at American University. She was a Times Mirror Visiting Professor at University of Texas at Austin in 2005-2006 where she taught a class she designed on Watergate and the Press. She spent the last four years interviewing more than 175 people connected to Woodward and Bernstein and sifting through the new archival materials that UT bought from Woodward and Bernstein for $5 million in 2003.

Shepard contributes to Washingtonian and People magazines, and has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. For nearly a decade, she wrote for American Journalism Review on such things as ethics, the newspaper industry and how journalism works - or doesn't. For that work, the National Press Club awarded her its top media criticism prize three different years.

Anyone attending the book event, can also view a current exhibit called “Writing Watergate: Written Works from the White House and Beyond,” located in the Law School’s Susman Godfrey Atrium near the entrance to the Tarlton Law Library. “Writing Watergate” looks at how the professional roles of four skilled writers shaped the way they wrote about Watergate.

The exhibit highlights documents and artifacts from two Tarlton Law Library manuscript collections, the Charles Alan Wright Papers and the Harold J. "Tex" Lezar Papers. Charles Alan Wright was one of the great constitutional law scholars of the 20th century and a longtime faculty member at the UT School of Law. He served as President Richard Nixon's attorney in the Watergate tapes litigation of 1973. Tex Lezar, a 1976 graduate of UT Law, served as one of President Nixon's speechwriters from 1971-1974, collaborating with head speechwriter Ray Price on a number of Watergate statements.

The exhibit also includes reproductions of documents in the Woodward-Bernstein Watergate files, on loan from the Harry Ransom Center. The research notes and interview transcripts on display provide a detailed look at how Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, two Washington Post reporters, broke the Watergate story.

Related Sites:
Bill Minutaglio:  
Alicia Shepard:
Society of Professional Journalists, UT Student Chapter: