The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years

The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years

Joseph A. Califano Jr.

Language: English

Pages: 464

ISBN: 1476798796

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

From Lyndon Johnson’s closest domestic adviser during the White House years comes a book in which “Johnson leaps out of the pages in all his raw and earthy glory” (The New York Times Book Review) that’s been called “a joy to read” (Stephen Ambrose, The Washington Post Book World). And now, a new introductory essay brings the reader up to date on Johnson’s impact on America today.

Califano takes us into the Oval Office as the decisions that irrevocably changed the United States were being crafted to create Johnson’s ambitious Great Society. He shows us LBJ’s commitment to economic and social revolution, and his willingness to do whatever it took to achieve his goals. Califano uncorks LBJ’s legislative genius and reveals the political guile it took to pass the laws in civil rights, poverty, immigration reform, health, education, environmental protection, consumer protection, the arts, and communications.

President Lyndon Johnson was bigger than life—and no one who worked for him or was subjected to the “Johnson treatment” ever forgot it. As Johnson’s “Deputy President of Domestic Affairs” (The New York Times), Joseph A. Califano’s unique relationship with the president greatly enriches our understanding of our thirty-sixth president, whose historical significance continues to be felt throughout every corner of America to this day.

A no-holds-barred account of Johnson’s presidency, The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson is an intimate portrait of a President whose towering ambition for his country and himself reshaped America—and ultimately led to his decision to withdraw from the political arena in which he fought so hard.

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& you can’t save 100 mil in expen—” —the space program: “It is more important for prestige purposes to show the world that a democratic society of different races can live together peacefully than it is to get to the moon on some experimental basis by 1970.” “I don’t agree.’ I urged spending $3 to $5 billion more on social programs on a list that one of my aides put together. “Tell him to forget it—” I urged abandonment of Treasury’s across-the-board-cut strategy to get a tax bill—“Fowler

(IAM), 144–46, 148, 189, 194 International Herald Tribune, 315 International Telephone & Telegraph, 225 Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), 159–63 Iraq, 204 Israel, 204–6 Italy, 336 Jackson, Henry (Scoop), 115 Jacobsen, Jake, 22, 27, 60, 70, 82, 118, 321 Javits, Jacob, 134, 192 Jenkins, Walter, 19–20, 281 Jenner, Albert, 310 Jet, 196 Jews, 71–72, 204–5 Job Corps, 76, 223, 225 Job Opportunities in the Business Sector (JOBS), 223, 224 John F. Kennedy: A Political Profile (Burns),

conference, down into a bowl drawn on the board to signify final passage. Johnson used the posterboard as a prop while he encouraged, charmed, and cajoled the leaders to move each of his proposals through the legislative process. IV. Presidential power to move funds from one defense account to another. V. LBJ was referring to a meeting of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles with the congressional leadership in 1954. Dulles discussed sending some American troops to Vietnam during the French

media to spread wildfires of commentary on a presidential policy moments after it is announced. The costs of political campaigns were not in the billions of dollars, pressing Presidents and those in office (or those who hope to be) to spend so much vital time raising money.V 29 The Majority and Minority Leaders of the House and Senate had more power than they enjoy today, and committee chairs were potentates in the 1960s. Perhaps the most troubling difference is that there were trust and civility

appreciation to those in Congress who helped him pass a bill. When he signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, LBJ did not give the first presidential pen to Martin Luther King as most expected. He ostentatiously gave it to Everett Dirksen, whose support had been essential to breaking the Southern filibuster.35 From long experience, Johnson understood the importance of compromise to progress; indeed, he embraced it when it was unavoidable. Essential to LBJ’s success in passing the Elementary and

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