Billcorcoran's Reviews > Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times 1961-1973
Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times 1961-1973
by Robert Dallek
by Robert Dallek
Jun 06, 10
Read in June, 2010
If you are at all interested in presidential biographys, LBJ's is fascinating. Wrought with tragedy and triumph during one of the most trying periods in American History. Having been elevated to the Presidency as a result of the Kennedy assasination, LBJ was immediatley tested as he had to help put the country's fear and grief behind them. This alone showed the strength of his leadership. However, this was only the beggining as he passed some of the most monumental legislation in American History including two civil rights bills in a time of great racial strife, medicare/medicade and numerous antipoverty measures. It was interesting to compare the process of passing medicare with the process of passing our recent health care bill. He also got the first African American Supreme court justice appointed to the court cementing his place as a civil rights President. This would probably be one of the all time great presidency's if not for Vietnam. LBJ did not get us into Vietnam, as that went back as far as Eisenhower and was then elevated by Kennedy. However, LBJ was the one that really raised the stakes and then refused to listen to any dissenting viewpoints. It's clear he agonized over Vietnam, and truly believed he was doing the right thing, but in the end he couldn't allow himself to accept his mistake and do what needed to be done to correct it. Back home there were race riots even after the civil rights legistlation, a powerful antiwar movement, the assasination of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy all of which were tearing the country apart. As I said if you are looking for an interesting Presidential biography this is a great place to start.
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