Baylor University Poage Library

Poage Lecture 2007 - TX. Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes

Barnes Book Cover

While still in college, Ben Barnes won a seat in the Texas House of Representatives. By 1962, on a congressman's recommendation, he was a top lieutenant to a little-known gubernatorial candidate who went on to win - John Connally. By 1965, Barnes was House speaker. At 26 he was the youngest speaker in state history. Three years later democrat Barnes catapulted himself to Lieutenant Governor of Texas - again the youngest ever. Rapidly rising politician Ben Barnes won the election in a landslide by garnering the most votes ever for a statewide office.

In his book, Barn Burning, Barn Building, former Texas politician Ben Barnes reveals an insider's look at the American political scene in the 1960s, when Democrats held a firm grasp on the nation's politics. A pupil of President Lyndon B. Johnson, Ben Barnes had an up-close and personal view of the nation's inner political workings. Barn Burning, Barn Building demonstrates how Texas, a state formerly dominated by Democrats, became a state controlled by Republicans.

To view a photo gallery of former TX. Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes' visit with students, booksigning, lecture and reception, click HERE.

To learn more about Ben Barnes, visit his web site at