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In 1980, Bush campaign manager James Baker stands at the podium while George H.W. Bush makes a joking gesture when told to loosen it up. Photo: Bettmann Archive via Getty Images

The N.Y. Times' Peter Baker and The New Yorker's Susan Glasser are finishing 6 years of work on a James Baker book, a full biography of his life and times, and plan publication by Doubleday next spring.

The big picture: Peter Baker tells Axios that James Baker, age 88 — former Secretary of State, Secretary of Treasury and White House chief of staff — is "the last of an era of politics that has vanished in today's polarized atmosphere."

Why he matters: "His is also the story of Washington and how it's changed over the last couple decades, from a place where a figure like Baker could work across the aisle to overhaul Social Security and rewrite the entire tax code to a city where compromise is seen as a vice rather than a virtue."

Glasser and Baker have interviewed James Baker, his family, friends, advisers, counterparts, critics and enemies, as well as poring through his archives at Princeton and Rice Universities.

  • They have interviewed former presidents, vice presidents, cabinet secretaries and foreign leaders.
  • "It turns out everyone has a Baker story," Peter said.

Out April 30: Peter Baker's "Obama: The Call of History," a coffee table book issued by The N.Y. Times and Callaway in fall 2017, has been expanded into a full-fledged history of the last president before Trump changed the world.

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Go deeper

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.

Kids’ screen time up 50% during pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When the coronavirus lockdowns started in March, kidstech firm SuperAwesome found that screen time was up 50%. Nearly a year later, that percentage hasn't budged, according to new figures from the firm.

Why it matters: For most parents, pre-pandemic expectations around screen time are no longer realistic. The concern now has shifted from the number of hours in front of screens to the quality of screen time.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

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