About Robert Mann


Robert Mann holds the Manship Chair in Journalism at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State UniversityHe 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 Politicswas named by the Washington Post as one of the best political books of 2011.fullsizeoutput_3929

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.

At LSU, Mann teaches courses in political communication. He is also editor of the Media & Public Affairs book series, published jointly by the Manship School and LSU Press.

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.



  1. Hey Bob, I also just discovered your blog. You’re insightful, objective and non partisan. You write with eloquence and sophistication. My friend “facebooked” the Tyran blog and I truly concur with your sentiments. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more of your future work.

  2. My husband has served 19 years in the Louisiana DOC and is on the list fo interview at the State Police Barracks in Baton Rouge. I found your blog thru the chapel article. Thank you to you and your wife for what you do for prisoners. Prisoners and their families are a forgotten population. Its a very lonely world for us and it is refreshing to know there are people like you who care.

  3. Bob, have you scheduled any book signings for the holiday season? Your books are wonderful gifts.

    Now very happily retired, Helen

  4. As a graduate student in the higher education program here at LSU, I find your posts both insightful and bold. Thank you for your courage to publicly speak out when many people at LSU and Louisiana won’t. I look forward to your future works

  5. Mr. Mann I just finished reading your blog does Jindal have a prayer . I must truly confess I have a very deep hattred for this man. Reading your story has helped open my eyes and made me think why I go to church every Sunday . My feelings for Jindal are for the way he has gone about the undoing of our health care in Louisiana. Does any one have a clue to the amount of health care workers and OGB his out sourcing / privatetizing our hospitial’s . These State workers are loosing millions of $ in retirement money , sick time , annual leave , comp time, It is a sad day when one man can bring so much pain on the hard working people of this State. I pitty the folks that hold public office and are letting him get away with this. He will be gone in 3 years and they will be left to answer for his rath!!!

  6. HELLO! Strongly suggest you look into OPPT-IN as a method to hold JINDAL personally accountable to the free BE’ings of the fine state of Lousiana!!

  7. Hello Robert,
    I am Alan Abrahams and have moved to Baton Rouge with my wife Margaret 14 months ago after 36 + years in Los Angeles, 20 years in NY and born in London England where I lived until a track scholarship brought me to a southern university in 1963.
    I am a record producer of over 40 years ( please visit alanabrahams.com) and have produced over 80 albums of everyone from Joan Baez and Kris Kristofferson to Taj Mahal and Jazz legend Les McCann to international superstars Ladysmith Black Mambazo and 14 Billboard chart topping Gospel albums.
    I was fascinated by this article because in my newly adopted home of Baton Rouge I want to do everything I can to help the people here and without going into a longwinded list of what we are doing I wonder if I might here from you directly for some further insight (Yes my father in law was the late Jerry Fowler)
    I am currently managing and producing Kenny Neal and Henry Gray and am getting deeper involved in the “community” – I am only learning about what I need to know at a pace that is too slow for what I hope to be part of to be a blessing, proactive and do all I can to practically – where the rubber meets the road – make adifference.
    Your article was so illuminating for me
    Thank you!!
    I can be reached at alanabrahamsmusic@gmail.com

  8. Hey Bob you going to keep standing with the brick and mortar college system industry at the expense of the taxpayers or are you going to recognize the coming drastic changes and advocate for reducing the burden of these obsolete institutions?

    In March, Britain’s Institute for Public Policy Research released a paper on the challenges facing the modern university titled “An Avalanche Is Coming.” The foreboding title sent a blunt message to traditional academic institutions: Move quickly to embrace new technologies, or prepare to become obsolete.

    “Our belief is that deep, radical and urgent transformation is required as much as it is in school systems,” the authors wrote. “Our fear is that, perhaps as a result of complacency, caution or anxiety, or a combination of all three, the pace of change is too slow and the nature of change too incremental.”


    We should get in front of this now. Just think how many more people are going to have access to higher education at much lower cost than we spend today. Of course it will not be pretty for the brick and mortar guys.

  9. Bob, my good friend. I read your blog about raising the cigarette tax. As a smoker, I am always befuddled about why cigarette smokers are always targeted, but alcohol seems to have the lobbying clout to avoid such attacks. Why is that? Me smoking in my car is certainly not as dangerous as someone who is drinking and driving. I will pay my fair share, but I think that beer and hard liquor should have higher taxes as well.

    1. I agree, Lou. Not opposed to raising those taxes, too. Reality is, however, that the cigarette tax is the only such tax that has even a chance of passing in this session.

  10. You’re not a journalist. You’re a putrid propagandist, and a traitor. Your stock in trade are your words and trust. And you use the former to betray the latter.
    And if you ever wish to debate me on camera, in public, you’ll find me almost any sunny day at the corner of French Market Place and Ursuline, You can’t miss me. I’ll be wearing an Uncle Sam outfit next to a wagon with politically incorrect art.

  11. Robert,
    I appreciate the wit and humor in your statements. They remind me of MANNERISMS written by Sen. Bob Graham in the 70’s.
    Michael Ledbetter
    Formerly of Tampa/Brandon, FL

  12. I recently read an opinion piece in the Shreveport Times that stated that the proposed budget (Spring, 2017 legislative session) is $4B larger than the previous year. Is this correct and, if so, what accounts for the increase?

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