Robert Dallek's brilliant two-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson has received an avalanche of praise. Now Dallek has condensed his two-volume masterpiece into what is surely the finest one-volume biography of Johnson available. Based on years of research in over 450 manuscript collections and oral histories, as well as numerous personal interviews, this biography follows Johnson, the 'human dynamo', from the Texas hill country to the White House. In these pages, Johnson emerges as a man of towering intensity and anguished insecurity, of grandiose ambition and grave self-doubt, a man who was brilliant, crude, intimidating, compassionate, overbearing, driven. Gracefully written and delicately balanced, this singular biography reveals both the greatness and the tangled complexities of one of the most extravagant characters ever to step onto the presidential stage.
The presidency of Lyndon Johnson was a pivotal moment in twentieth-century American history. From the decisive social programs of the Great Society, to the triumph of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts, to the catastrophe of the Vietnam War and domestic unrest, it was an era of dramatic accomplishment and wrenching tragedy. In Guns or Butter, renowned historian Irving Bernstein brings those five climactic years of the sixties vividly to life, from the moment Lee Harvey Oswald aimed a rifle from the window of the Texas School Depository to the tense ballot-counting that put Richard Nixon in the White House in 1968. Bernstein's book is a narrative masterpiece, filled with sharply drawn character sketches and swiftly moving accounts of events that range from deals cut in the Senate cloakroom, to police charging after protesters on the streets of Selma, to Vietcong commandos bursting into the American embassy in Saigon. We see Johnson ordering aides Bill Moyers and Richard Goodwin to strip and join him for a skinny-dip in the White House pool, where they formulate the Great Society. And we see a tired, distracted president pacing in his bathrobe around a table model of the besieged Khe Sanh garrison, examining aerial photographs and casualty reports. Equally important, Bernstein offers a deft assessment of Johnson's successes and failures, from his legislative programs to his futile pursuit of the war in Vietnam to his failure to boost Hubert Humphrey's presidential campaign in 1968. The author not only retells the maneuvering that brought the president's plans into law, he also analyzes and explains their impact, from the Voting Rights Act to Medicare. The Great Society, Bernstein concludes, was a triumph, but Johnson's attempt to have both guns and butter, to pursue massive domestic initiatives together with a bitter undeclared war, led to runaway inflation that ultimately undermined his presidency. From the dark moments after Kennedy's assassination in 1963, to the heady days of legislative victories of 1965, to the bloody crescendo of riots, assassinations, and military battles in 1968, Johnson's administration was a defining moment in modern American history. In Guns or Butter, Irving Bernstein brilliantly captures both the events and the meaning of those momentous years. Aside from its historical value, this book has major current significance. The legislative program Newt Gingrich and his Republican colleagues introduced in 1995 was designed to repeal the Great Society. Before doing so, members of Congress and the interested public should understand Lyndon Johnson's vision and the legislation that was enacted during the sixties. Guns or Butter provides that critical information.
*Includes a list of LBJ's most colorful quotes, his inaugural address, and his statement announcing he would not seek reelection in 1968. *Includes pictures of Johnson and important people, places, and events in his life. *Discusses LBJ's personality and relationships with his most important contemporaries, including John and Bobby Kennedy. "The presidency has made every man who occupied it, no matter how small, bigger than he was; and no matter how big, not big enough for its demands." - Lyndon B. Johnson A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors' American Legends series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of America's most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known. Of all the politicians who have left their mark on American history, few have had a political career or list of accomplishments and accolades that can even come close to rivaling Lyndon B. Johnson. Johnson is one of only 4 Americans to serve as a House Rep, U.S. Senator, Vice President and President, and he made the most out of each experience. The hard-nosed Texas Democrat became one of the legendary strongmen in the Senate, mastering that political body from 1949-1961 and spending six years as Senate Majority Leader, two as Senate Minority Leader, and two as Senate Majority Whip. A fateful chain of events propelled then propelled Johnson from Capitol Hill to the White House. After Johnson's failed run for the Democratic nomination in 1960, winner John F. Kennedy chose Johnson as his running mate over his brother Bobby's objections. Kennedy figured Johnson's Texas roots would help balance Kennedy's decidedly Northeastern appeal, as well as adding a sense of age, experience and gravitas to the younger Kennedy's campaign. While this was all true and did indeed help Kennedy win the election in 1960, his assassination ultimately brought Johnson to the presidency. Kennedy has been nostalgically and fondly remembered for his youth, vigor and sense of unfinished potential, but it would be President Johnson who would bring much of the agenda to fruition. To the surprise of many, the Southern Democrat relied on his wealth of Senate experience and dogged determination to help push through an ambitious and progressive social agenda that formed the backbone of modern American society. Known as the Great Society, President Johnson's legislation included the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the establishment of Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protection, and the "War on Poverty." Everything from the National Endowment for the Arts to the Environmental Protection Agency has its roots in Johnson's presidency. Had Johnson's presidency included just his domestic agenda, he would have unquestionably been one of America's greatest presidents. Unfortunately, as he was engineering a new social contract at home, he was ramping up American military participation in a tiny country thousands of miles away in Southeast Asia. For a man who accomplished so much at home, it's ironic and tragic that his presidency and legacy were permanently marred by his escalation in the costly and contentious Vietnam War, a military quagmire and public relations disaster that compelled Johnson not to run for reelection in 1968. American Legends: The Life of Lyndon B. Johnson chronicles the amazing life of the president, examines his unprecedented legislative accomplishments, and analyzes the controversial Vietnam War and Johnson's mixed legacy. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about LBJ like you never have before, in no time at all.
Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States
Discusses the life and career of the thirty-sixth president, whose term was filled with controversy over the civil rights movement and the war in Vietnam.
Appraisal of the President, on a personal and professional level, by a longtime friend.
Lyndon B. Johnson, thrust unexpectedly into the presidency following John F. Kennedy's assassination, ushered in a new wave of civil rights and launched a war against poverty. Though his experience as Senate majority leader helped ensure the passage of much of his domestic agenda, his administration was soon hampered by the ongoing war in Vietnam. By 1968, with the country embroiled in race riots as well as antiwar protests, Johnson declined to run for a second full term. This biography explores how a son of Texas pioneers became a bold champion of civil rights and embattled commander in chief.
Originally published in hardcover in 2016 by Gallery Books.
Born in a farmhouse in the Texas Hill Country, Lyndon Baines Johnson brought a western sensibility to the White House. Building on recent studies that have delved into Johnson’s Texas roots, Kevin J. Fernlund has written a brief, lively biography of the thirty-sixth president that better shows how his home state molded his early years—and how the one-time Houston schoolteacher eventually became a Texas tornado twisting across the state’s and soon the nation’s political landscape. Lyndon B. Johnson and Modern America offers a concise look at LBJ that shows how his career coincided with the ascendancy of American liberalism within a Cold War context. In particular, Fernlund extends recent observations regarding Johnson’s important role in regional transformation at a time when the South and West became full partners in the American economy. In examining LBJ’s promotion of the space program and his disastrous decision to escalate the war in Vietnam, Fernlund shows how these and other Johnson administration policies affected the American West. He describes how Johnson’s liberal agenda for the West became subverted by illiberal wars with enemies foreign and domestic, exposing the limits of liberalism and fostering the region’s nascent conservatism. He also compares Johnson’s commitment to social justice with that of his arch nemesis Ho Chi Minh, providing new insight for readers and an intriguing springboard for classroom discussion. Although subsequent presidents also hailed from the West, Fernlund argues that Johnson was our last truly western chief executive. This new approach to LBJ offers a novel reading of an important Texan, his huge circles of influence, and his lasting impact on the American scene.
Seminar paper from the year 2003 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Region: USA, grade: 1, Macquarie University, language: English, abstract: ”Look, Mr. President, everything that the Secretary of Defense has been telling you this morning, I used to listen to with my French friends. They talked about the fact that there was always a new plan, and (...) that was going to win the day. And they believed it just as much as we're believing it sitting around the table this morning. I can tell you, however, that in the end, there was a great disillusion. And there will be one.” - George Ball, 1971 - In spite of the advice given to him by his Under Secretary of State, George Ball, United States President Lyndon B. Johnson decided on the 27th July 1965 to push ahead and increase military forces from 75,000 to 125,000 in Vietnam. With this decision, Johnson escalated the American intervention in Vietnam and made what has been seen as the ”formal decision for a major war” . The inability and, to an extent unwillingness, to foresee that the conflict was going to be as catastrophic as it turned out to be is what lead Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defence, to say that the Johnson administration’s ”greatest failure of all was Vietnam.” It was not until April 1975 and then under President Gerald Ford that the United States would finally withdraw from Vietnam, following a defeat of the South Vietnamese forces and a reunification of the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Pham Van Dong. With approximately 58,000 American casualties, not to mention the estimated 1,5 million Vietnamese killed, this military intervention continues to be seen as a sore point of American history .
This imaginative cross-curricular resource is the perfect way to reinforce basic grammar skills as well as introduce the study of United States presidents to your class. A short biography is included for each featured president: Harry Truman and Lyndon B. Johnson. They contain secret, embedded information. Students must study the biography and crack the code to answer a set of worksheet questions. It is within these hidden codes that students will practice revision marks and parts of speech. Level: Medium
In June 1963, in the midst of national turmoil brought about by civil rights demonstrations, John Kennedy sent his administration's first major civil rights bill to the Congress. Still unsure about this move, he asked his brother Robert, "Do you think we did the right thing?" Within days of assuming the presidency, Lyndon Johnson publicly committed himself to civil rights as a "memorial" to his predecessor. Privately he told Georgia's Senator Richard Russell, the leader of the South in Congress, "Dick, you've got to get out of my way. I'm going to run you over." President Johnson would not compromise or equivocate on civil rights. John Kennedy of Massachusetts yielded to the pressure of events and became an ally of the movement, despite his fear that supporting civil rights could cost him votes in Congress and the nation. Lyndon Johnson of Texas, whom liberals loathed because he often gutted their prize legislation, became the committed champion of civil rights. Together their administrations became synonymous with the Second Reconstruction, though neither president had a prior record of strong civil rights commitment. Mark Stern explains how each man pursued power and votes, and ultimately redirected his own course of action and altered the nation's future.