Indomitable Will LBJ in the Presidency

ISBN-10: 0307887715

ISBN-13: 9780307887719

Edition: 2012

Authors: Mark Updegrove

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Description:

Nearly fifty years after being sworn in as president of the United States in the wake of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Baines Johnson remains a largely misunderstood figure. His force of personal­ity, mastery of power and the political process, and boundless appetite for social reform made him one of the towering figures of his time. But he was one of the most protean and paradoxical of presidents as well. Because of his flawed nature and inherent contradic­tions, some claimed there were as many LBJs as there were people who knew him. Intent on fulfilling the promise of America, Johnson launched a revolution in civil rights, federal aid to education, and health care for the elderly and indigent, and expanded immigration and environ­mental protection. A flurry of landmark laws—he would sign an unparalleled 207 during his five years in office, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, Elementary and Second­ary Education Act, Head Start, and Medicare—are testaments to the triumph of his will. His War on Poverty alone brought the U.S. poverty rate down from 20 percent to 12 percent, the biggest one-time drop in American history. As president, he was known for getting things done. At the same time, Johnson’s presidency—and the fulfillment of its own promise—was blighted by his escalation of an ill-fated war in Vietnam that tore at the fabric of America and saw the loss of 36,000 U.S. troops by the end of his term. Presidential historian Mark K. Updegrove offers an intimate portrait of the endlessly fas­cinating LBJ, his extraordinarily eventful presi­dency, and the turbulent times in which he served. We see Johnson in his many guises and dimen­sions: the virtuoso deal-maker using every inch of his six-foot-three-inch frame to intimidate his subjects, the relentless reformer willing to lose southern Democrats from his party for a generation in his pursuit of civil rights for all Americans, and the embattled commander in chief agonizing over the fate of his “boys” in Vietnam—including his two sons-in-law—yet steadfast in his determination to thwart Communist aggression through war, or an honorable peace. Through original interviews and personal accounts from White House aides and Cabinet members, political allies and foes, and friends and family—from Robert McNamara to Barry Goldwa­ter, Lady Bird Johnson to Jacqueline Kennedy—as well as through Johnson’s own candid reflections and historic White House telephone conversa­tions,Indomitable Willreveals LBJ as never before. “ For it is through firsthand narrative more than anything,” writes Updegrove, “that Lyndon John­son—who teemed with vitality in his sixty-four years and remains enigmatic nearly four decades after his passing—comes to life.”
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Book details

List price: $32.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 3/13/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 400
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.364
Language: English

Mark K. Updegrove is the director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, and the author of Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who took Office in Times of Crisis and Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House . A sought-after commentator on matters relating to politics and the presidency, he has appeared on ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, NPR, NBC News, and PBS.

Acknowledgments
Index of Voices
Introduction
"A Man Who Remains a Mystery"
Looking at the Living, Wishing for the Dead
"Let us Continue"
"He Knew Instinctively What to Do"
Big as Texas
Seeking the Ultimate to Do the Possible
"An American Bill"
The Kennedys
The Johnson Treatment
"Bird"
"The Summertime of Our Lives"
Finishing Franklin Roosevelt's Revolution
No Men with Umbrellas
The Public Man
"All the Way With LBJ"
Foreboding
"In Your Heart You Know He Might"
The Loophole
Power and Glory
"We Shall Overcome"
A War for the Poor
"All the Education They Can Take"
Making Harry Truman's Dream Come True
Nature Was My Companion
"What Can You Do for Our Country?"
"The Fabulous Eighty-ninth Congress"
"Nearly Every Person in the World is Good"
Commander in Chief
"What the Hell is Vietnam Worth to Me?"
"Another Cuba"?
Lyndon Johnson's War
Hawks and Doves
Fissures
Guns and Butter
A Question of Credibility
Under Fire
"We're Burning Up!"
"The Hot Line is Up"
Justice and Lawlessness
"Hey, Hey, LBJ ..."
"Eyes Only-For the President"
Around the World in Four and a Half Days
"The Nightmare Year"
"One War at a Time"
No Light, Longer Tunnel
The Decision
March 31
End of a Dream
"What Is Happening to Us?"
Disappointment
HHH
Chicago
"Nixon's the One"
"The Golden Coin is Almost Spent"
A Smooth Transition
"Everything That Was in Me"
Sunset
Notes
Sources
Photo Credits
Index
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