The Hauenstein group got together with presidential historian H. W. Brands (second from right) to talk about their research projects. Brands has been a mainstay of the Hauenstein Center. He teaches at the University of Texas and is one of the most prolific presidential biographers/historians of our day. The Pulitzer Prize nominated finalist has written about Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight Eisenhower, and a number of other presidents.
One professional tip that he passed along: when reconstructing dialogue, historians should use quotation marks only if they can verify the dialogue (1) in a sound recording they have heard with their own ears, (2) in a reliable printed source, and (3) in an oral interview they conduct with a reliable witness who can vouch that the president said thus and such.
Photos and text © Gleaves Whitney 2005