Miller Center

Barbara Perry

Portrait of Barbara Perry

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Professor Barbara A. Perry is a Senior Fellow in, and Co-Chair of, the Miller Center’s Presidential Oral History Program at the University of Virginia, where she directs the Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Project.  She has been named the inaugural Director of the Miller Center’s new Institute for Presidential Studies.  Previously, she was the Carter Glass Professor of Government and founding Director of the Center for Civic Renewal at Sweet Briar College.  In 1994-95 she served as the Judicial Fellow at the U.S. Supreme Court, which bestowed on her the Justice Tom C. Clark Award as the outstanding fellow that year.  Perry was the Senior Fellow for Civics Education at the University of Louisville’s McConnell Center in 2006-07 and now serves as a Non-Resident Fellow there.  She was named the 2014 Alumni Fellow of the Year by the University of Louisville’s College of Arts and Sciences and received a 2013-14 UVA Above and Beyond Speaker Award.  In 2013 the Sons of the American Revolution, Virginia Society, awarded her the Silver Good Citizenship Medal “for outstanding achievements in the study, writing, and teaching of American history,” and she received the 2012 Virginia Social Science Association’s Scholar Award in Political Science. 
Among her eleven books is Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch (W.W. Norton 2013), which was recommended by the L.A. Times, USA Today, Vanity Fair, People, and Barnes and Noble.  It was among three finalist for the 2014 Library of Virginia Literary Award in nonfiction.  She has also published “The Supremes”: An Introduction to the United States Supreme Court Justices, 2nd ed. (Peter Lang 2009); The Michigan Affirmative Action Cases (University Press of Kansas 2007); Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier (University Press of Kansas 2004); The Priestly Tribe: The Supreme Court’s Image in the American Mind (Praeger 1999; winner of a 2001 Choice Award); A “Representative” Supreme Court?  The Impact of Race, Religion, and Gender on Appointments (Greenwood 1991); and, with Henry J. Abraham, Freedom and the Court: Civil Rights and Liberties in the United States, 8th edition (University Press of Kansas 2003).  Professor Perry co-edited 41: Inside the Presidency of George H. W. Bush, with Michael Nelson (Cornell University Press 2014) and is co-editing with him and Russell Riley 42: Inside the Presidency of Bill Clinton.
The author of more than 35 articles, Professor Perry has lectured throughout the United States and is a frequent media commentator on public affairs for CBS, PBS, CNN, C-SPAN, MS-NBC, Fox News, NPR, PRI, BBC, Canadian Broadcast Corp., Swiss TV, the NewsHour, the Diane Rehm Show, HuffPost Live, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Sunday Times of London, USA Today, Bloomberg News, and the Associated Press.  
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Professor Perry earned a Ph.D. in government from the University of Virginia, an M.A. in politics, philosophy, and economics from Oxford University, and a B.A. in political science, with highest honors, from the University of Louisville.

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