2021 Fairchild Lecture

David Maraniss
"The McCarthy Era and its Echoes: A Story of Family, Journalism and the Search for Truth."
5 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Zoom Registration

David Maraniss is a New York Times best-selling author, a fellow of the Society of American Historians, and a visiting distinguished professor at Vanderbilt University. He also serves as an associate editor for the Washington Post, where he twice won Pulitzer Prizes.

In 1993, Maraniss received the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for his coverage of Bill Clinton, and in 2007, he was part of a team that won a Pulitzer for coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting. He was also a Pulitzer finalist three other times, and has won many other major writing awards, including the George Polk Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize, the Anthony Lukas Book Prize, and the Frankfurt eBook Award.

Among Maraniss’s bestselling books are biographies of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Roberto Clemente, and Vince Lombardi, and a trilogy about the 1960s—Rome 1960; Once in a Great City (winner of the RFK Book Prize); and They Marched into Sunlight (winner of the J. Anthony Lucas Prize and Pulitzer Finalist in History).

Marannis’s twelfth book, A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father, turns the author’s lens on his own family to examine the politics of the 1950s McCarthy era. It is the powerful personal story of a son’s search to understand his father and what happened to his family during the Red Scare, one of the darkest periods in modern American history.

Marannis lives in Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wisconsin, is his hometown.

Questions about this year's lecture? Contact Emilie Buckman, 608-262-5918.

You can support Judge Fairchild's legacy by making a gift to the Thomas E. Fairchild Lecture fund today.

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About Judge Fairchild

Thomas Fairchild

Judge Thomas E. Fairchild, a 1937 UW Law School graduate, was Wisconsin Attorney General, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, circuit judge, justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and then later chief judge and ultimately senior circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit until his death on February 12, 2007. For 50 years, Judge Fairchild demonstrated both a scholarly regard for those principles of law that generations have molded into the American definition of justice and equality and a remarkable sensitivity to the ever-changing human conditions that make the search for justice and equality an ongoing one.

About the Fairchild Lecture

The Thomas E. Fairchild Lectureship was established in 1988 at University of Wisconsin Law School as a tribute to Judge Fairchild. Initiated by his former law clerks, the lectureship brings a distinguished member of the legal profession — from the bench, bar or academia — to speak at UW Law School on a topic of importance to the profession. Many distinguished guests have served as Fairchild lecturers, including Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Sandra Day O'Connor.

View a complete list of Fairchild lectures

1988 Justice John Paul Stevens, "A Judge's Use of History"
1989 David S. Ruder, "The Development of Legal Doctrine Through Amicus Participation: The SEC Experience"
1990 Judge Kenneth W. Starr: ”The Court of Appeals and the Future of the Federal Judiciary"
1991 Judge Harry T. Edwards, "The Judicial Function and the Elusive Goal of Principled Decision Making"
1993 Judge Mary Schroeder, "Appellate Justice: Fairness or Formulas"
1994 Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson, “Refreshing Institutional Memories: Wisconsin and the American Law Institute"
1995 Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, "The Life of the Law: Principles of Logic and Experience from the United States"
1996 John P. Frank, "The Shelf Life of Justice Hugo L. Black"
1997 Sol M. Linowitz, "Moment of Truth for the Legal Profession"
1998 Judge Lawrence Walsh, "The Future of the Independent Counsel Statute"
1999 Professor Marc Galanter, "Old and in the Way: The Demographic Transformation of the Legal Profession and Its Implications for the Delivery of Legal Services"
2000 Stephen B. Bright, "Will the Death Penalty Remain Alive in the Twenty-First Century?"
2001 Professor Elizabeth Warren, "The Market for Data: The Changing Role of Social Sciences in Shaping the Law"
2002 Judge Patrick Lucey, Sen. Gaylord Nelson, Ellen Proxmire, and Alexander Shashko, "Revitalization of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin in the Mid-20th Century"
2003 Judge Reena Raggi, "The Role of District Courts"
2004 Michael Traynor, "Citizenship in a Time of Repression"
2005 Sen. Russ Feingold, "Upholding an Oath to the Constitution: A Legislator's Responsibilities"
2006 Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow, "Thomas E. Fairchild: A Judge's Legacy"
2007 Judge Diane Wood, "Snapshots from the Seventh Circuit: Continuity and Change, 1966 to 2007”
2008 U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald, "Thoughts On How the Legal System Treats Jurors"
2009 Scott Turow, "It's Only Words:  Thoughts of a Lawyer and a Novelist"
2010 John Skilton, "Abraham Lincoln, A Lawyer for the Ages"
2011 Judge William K. Sessions III, "Federal Sentencing Policy: A Path For The Future"
2012 Professor Michael J. Zimmer, "Inequality, Individualized Risk and Insecurity"
2013 Judge William J. Bauer, "The War on Drugs"
2014 Collins T. Fitzpatrick, " Protecting the Fourth Amendment So We Do Not Sacrifice Freedom for Security"
2015 R. Nils Olsen, Jr., "All in the Family: A Legacy of Public Service and Engagement—Edward and Thomas Fairchild”
2016 William C. Hubbard, "Our Justice System at an Inflection Point"
2017 Judge Lynn Adelman, "The Erosion of Civil Rights and What to Do About It"
2018 Judge Robert Katzmann, "Civic Education and the Federal Courts"
2019 Professor Geoffrey R. Stone, "The Warren Court: A Fifty Year Retrospective"
2021 David Maraniss, "The McCarthy Era and its Echoes: A Story of Family, Journalism and the Search for Truth"

Digital Repository

Check out the UW Law School Digital Repository for more about past Fairchild Lectures »

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