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John Dean to deliver Tresolini Lecture

John Dean

John Dean, the counsel to former President Richard M. Nixon who is perhaps best known for his devastating testimony against his former boss during the Watergate hearings, will deliver this year’s Tresolini Lecture entitled “Executive Power from Nixon to Bush ... and Beyond” on Thursday, April 3, 2008 at 8 p.m. in Zoellner Arts Center’s Baker Hall.

The talk is free and open to the public, although tickets are required. They are now on sale through Zoellner Ticket Services.

An outspoken critic of the current Bush administration, Dean has asserted in several interviews that he feels that Bush’s penchant for secrecy and his deception over the war in Iraq should result in his impeachment.

Brian Pinaire, the assistant professor of political science who organizes the annual Tresolini Lecture, says that few individuals are in a better position than Dean to understand the changing nature and demands on executive power in the United States.

“The actions of each president set a precedent and leave footprints for future Oval officeholders,” he says. “We expect that John Dean’s talk will be richly garnished with his own experiences and will be especially timely as the nation moves toward one of the most contested presidential elections in American history.”

Since leaving the White House in April of 1973, Dean has focused his efforts on investment banking and on writing about the subjects of law, government and politics. His experiences in the Nixon White House were recounted in two books: Blind Ambition (1976) and Lost Honor (1982).

In 2001, he published The Rehnquist Choice: The Untold Story of the Nixon Appointment that Redefined the Supreme Court. That was followed by Warren G. Harding in early 2004, Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush and Conservatives Without Conscience.

His latest book, Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches, was released on September 11, 2007, and has already incited heated debate about the lasting impact of the Bush administration.

Dean joins a long list of legal luminaries who have delivered the Tresolini Lecture at Lehigh, such as former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, former Vietnam War-era governmental strategic analyst Daniel Ellsberg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., O.J. Simpson “Dream Team” attorney and Innocence Project founder Barry Scheck, and attorney David Boies.

The Rocco J. Tresolini Lectureship in Law was established in 1978, in memory of one of Lehigh’s most distinguished teachers and scholars, Rocco Tresolini (1920-1967). As professor and chair of the department of government, Tresolini contributed to the understanding of law and its relation to government. The endowed lectureship was made possible by the generosity of Lehigh’s Class of 1961, and other alumni and friends of the university. WDIY is proud to co-sponsor the 2008 Tresolini Lecture.

Tickets are now available at Zoellner Ticket Services (420 E. Packer Ave., Bethlehem) or at (610) 7LU-ARTS. All tickets are valid until 10 minutes prior to curtain. Doors open at 7:15 p.m.

--Linda Harbrecht

Photo by Bernd Rantscheff

Posted on Monday, March 10, 2008

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