Lyndon B. Johnson: The American Presidents Series: The 36th President, 1963-1969
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Lyndon B. Johnson: The American Presidents Series: The 36th President, 1963-1969 (The American Presidents #36)

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  54 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The towering figure who sought to transform America into a "Great Society" but whose ambitions and presidency collapsed in the tragedy of the Vietnam War

Few figures in American history are as compelling and complex as Lyndon Baines Johnson, who established himself as the master of the U.S. Senate in the 1950s and succeeded John F. Kennedy in the White House after Kennedy's...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Times Books (first published 2010)
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Gina Denny
This is how I like my biographies: fairly short, focusing on the highlights, but sprinkled with plenty of anecdotes.

Johnson is one of the more unfortunate US Presidents. He was in office in a polarizing time, he did some great things in office and he did some bad things in office (you can decide for yourself which stuff falls on which side of that line). Out of office? HE WAS THE WORST.

Which, of course, makes for an incredibly interesting life story.

I'll be reading the rest of this series- if...more
Shawn Thrasher
Not the most interesting book in this series, but still well worth reading. Peters quotes Lady Bird's press secretary Liz Carpenter at the end: "That's just him. You have to face the fact that he was that way. You had to accept him warts and all." And so does history." That seems to be the guiding principle behind Peters narrative. Johnson was a combination of diamond and dirt, and Peters shows both sides. The cheating husband and horrible boss (The Devil Wears Prada in politics) was also the ge...more
This biography of LBJ could be described as Robert A. Caro light. In all fairness, however, Peters wrote the book for the LBJ entry in The American Presidents series. Arthur Schlesinger and Sean Wilentz are the general editors of the series the purpose of which is to provide brief and generalized presidential biographies. .

It is difficult to review this book because I lived through the Johnson presidency and have read Caro's excellent and detailed biography of LBJ. As such, I am acquainted with...more
Jason Chambers
His is the first I've read of the American Presidents series and its not one that inspires confidence in the rest of the series.

I enjoy a little political knowledge and criticism in Presidential biographies and Peters certainly lacks that. He seems to have a fairly skin-deep knowledge of the political process and doesn't offer any interesting analyses.

If you're interested in the political bent of an author, Peters certainly comes from the left side of the aisle and can't resist a few shots at...more
Interesting book on a president who changed the course of history in many ways. LBJ was a man with a huge ego, a wandering eye, many insecurities and in spite of all his flaws was a great hero in civil rights and social change. This is a short book but tightly packed with information making it a great read for those interested in history and an eye for current events. I will admit that I had checked this book out of my library previously and did not finish it. But seeing it on the shelf again I...more
Steven Peterson
A useful, brief biography of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. This is one in a series, called "The American Presidents." They are all rather short, designed to be accessible to lots of people who might not want to wade through a 600 page biography. That is both the strength and the weakness of this series. One gets a "quick and dirty" introduction to the presidents, but at the cost of depth.

Each reader must determine if the tradeoff is worth it.

At that, this is an interesting addition to the ser...more
John Kaufmann
I agree with several of the other comments. The book is a primer on Johnson, compared to more detailed biographies. If that's what you're looking for, you'll like this book. It's short, easy to read, and hits the important points. If you want all the grizzly details and stories and anecdotes with detailed explanations for everything he did, go to Caro's books or some of the other more lengthier, more detailed biographies.
This concise, highly readable and fascinating biography of LBJ reveals his larger-than-life personality (the good and the bad) and examines how his amazing legacy of domestic legislative accomplishments is forever (and perhaps not entirely fairly) tarnished by the tragedy of Vietnam.
Carl Phillips
I wanted to know more about the war in Vietmam and Johnson's roll in. He was a crude and vulgar Texas cowboy who accomplished more in civil rights than anyone since Abraham Lincoln, but the Vietnam war came to define his presidency.
Kirk Bower
Many hammer this series, but I enjoy them as quick reads & I have been lending them to students, because of that. I believe this one is one of the better ones which I've read. Definitely hit the "human" side of LBJ.
basically a primer on Johnson--I like to read compact biographies to help me decide if I want to attack something larger. This worked for me.
Kendall Krebs
The author and editors made this a succinct book. A great brush up on history, not an in depth look at LBJ.
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Peters was the founder and former editor-in-chief of The Washington Monthly, a political journal. He is currently the President of Understanding Government, an organization he founded in 1999.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Charles Peters...
Five Days In Philadelphia: The Amazing "We Want Willkie!" Convention of 1940 and How It Freed FDR to Save the Western World How Washington Really Works Tilting At Windmills: An Autobiography Billy Oliver: Holding on to Memories The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. VIII. No. 358, November 6, 1886.

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