Your NPR news source

Bob Woodward and Judge William J. Bauer: Truth and Justice in America

Bob Woodward and Judge William J. Bauer reunite at Bauer’s alma mater, Elmhurst College, to discuss issues at the heart of the American experience in democracy.

SHARE Bob Woodward and Judge William J. Bauer: Truth and Justice in America

One of America’s preeminent investigative reporters and nonfiction authors, Bob Woodward has won nearly every journalism award in the nation, including the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for his work with his Washington Post colleague Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal.

Growing up in Wheaton, Woodward came to know a distinguished family friend, William J. Bauer, President Richard Nixon’s choice for U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and, eventually, for a federal judgeship. Today, Bauer is a senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

The two old friends will reunite at Bauer’s alma mater, Elmhurst College, to discuss issues at the heart of the American experience in democracy.

Bob Woodward has worked for The Washington Post since 1971 as a reporter, and is currently an associate editor of the newspaper. Last week, he was named the 2012 recipient of the Fourth Estate Award, the National Press Club’s most honored prize. Woodward also has authored or coauthored 16 nonfiction books in the last 36 years. All 16 have been national bestsellers, including All the President’s Men (1974); The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court (1979); The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House (1994); State of Denial: Bush at War Part III (2006); and Obama’s Wars (2010).

William J. Bauer has been a member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit since 1975. Prior to that, he served on the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit of the State of Illinois, and State’s Attorney of DuPage County.

Bauer is a graduate of Elmhurst College (Class of 1949) and the DePaul University College of Law. He has been a trustee of Elmhurst College since 1976, and over the years he has given fourteen lectures in the College’s highly regarded Rudolf G. Schade speaker series.

The audio to this event in is two parts. The first hour is accessible using the audio player at the top of this page. The second hour is accessible using the player below:

This event is the last in 2011–12 Democracy Forum lecture series, the College’s examination of the democratic process and civic life. Other speakers in the Democracy Forum lecture series at Elmhurst College have included cultural critic and sociologist Michael Eric Dyson, legal analyst and author Jeffrey Toobin, historian and political commentator Jon Meacham, activist and author Naomi Wolf, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois, national security analyst KT McFarland, and acclaimed Harvard political scientist and author Robert Putnam.

Elmhurst College is a leading liberal arts college located eight miles west of Chicago. The College’s mission is to prepare its students for meaningful and ethical work in a multicultural, global society. Approximately 3,400 full- and part-time students are enrolled in its 22 undergraduate academic departments and nine graduate degree programs.


Recorded Thursday, May 17, 2012 at Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel, Elmhurst College.

The Latest
A greater share of Chicago area Republicans cast their ballots by mail in March compared to the 2022 primary, but they were still vastly outpaced by Democrats in using a voting system that has become increasingly popular.
As the 2024 presidential election approaches, officials, advocates and experts have expressed concern over misinformation and disinformation about candidates and elections in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois.
In interviews with WBEZ, several decried the length of sentence the 80-year-old could face, while a handful of others said he deserves significant time in prison.

Chicago’s longest-serving alderman Ed Burke will face up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced later this month. WBEZ’s Mariah Woelfel shares what prosecutors and Burke’s defense team are requesting from the judge overseeing the case.
How did this system come to be, and how has it persevered for more than two centuries?