Robert Mann holds the Manship Chair in Journalism at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. He is the author of critically acclaimed political histories of the U.S. civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and American wartime dissent. His book, Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds: LBJ, Barry Goldwater and the Ad that Changed American Politics, was named by the Washington Post as one of the best political books of 2011.
His new book, Becoming Ronald Reagan: The Rise of a Conservative Icon, is published by Potomac Books.
Mann’s essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Politico and Smithsonian. He has discussed his research and appeared as a political analyst on numerous national television and radio programs, including MSNBC, CBS News, ABC News and National Public Radio.
Prior to joining the LSU faculty in 2006, Mann spent more than 20 years in the political arena, working for three United States senators and a Louisiana governor. He was communications director to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, after serving 19 years as a U.S. Senate aide.
He was state director to U.S. Senator John Breaux of Louisiana, and served as Breaux’s press secretary. He also served as press secretary to U.S. Senator Russell Long of Louisiana. He was also press secretary for the 1990 re-election campaign of U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana, the 1992 and 1998 Breaux re-election campaigns and the 2003 Blanco campaign. He wrote a column about national and Louisiana politics for the New Orleans Times-Times Picayune from 2013 to 2018.
In 2013, Mann was elected to the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame.
Besides Becoming Ronald Reagan, Mann is the author of: A Journalist’s Diplomatic Mission: Ray Stannard Baker’s World War I Diary. (edited with John Maxwell Hamilton, LSU Press, 2012); Daisy Petals and Mushroom Clouds: LBJ , Barry Goldwater and the Ad That Changed American Politics (LSU Press, 2011); Political Communication: The Manship School Guide (edited with David Perlmutter, LSU Press, 2011); Wartime Dissent in America: A History and Anthology, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010); When Freedom Would Triumph: The Civil Rights Struggle in Congress, 1954-1968 (LSU Press, 2007); A Grand Delusion: America’s Descent into Vietnam, (Basic Books, 2001); The Walls of Jericho: Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Russell and the Struggle for Civil Rights, (Harcourt Brace, 1996); The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Cold War, (Alpha Books, 2002); and, Legacy to Power: Senator Russell Long of Louisiana, (Paragon House, 1992).
In the early 1980s, Mann covered Louisiana politics as a reporter for the Shreveport Journal and the Monroe News-Star.
He and his wife, Cindy, live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.