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The Triumph Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  128 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
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).

Califano takes us into the Oval Office as the decisions that irrevocably changed the United St
ebook, 448 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Touchstone (first published October 1st 1991)
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Rosemary Ellis
I listened to the audiobook during my morning walks, and found it very well read and easy to follow.

The book, authored by President Johnson's domestic adviser, Joe Califano, is focused almost exclusively on Johnson during the White House years, his domestic policies, his vision for the Great Society, and on his interactions with the author in his role as a chief policy adviser. And of course, the story is told from one usually, very admiring point of view.

Although some of my childhood passed du
John Mchugh
This was gifted to me, and I admit I enjoyed this description of political events I lived through as a younger man. In amongst the vast store of passages cataloging who said what to whom, and when, I did find some interesting and amusing stories well worth telling and reading. It also provided and least one man's insights into the motives and character the the movers and shakers in the Johnson White House and its' environs. But while it did offer me some new understanding of Johnson the man, it ...more
Aug 13, 2008 Pat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book on the ultimate politician. Interesting to read of the inception of social programs that continue today.
Jan 23, 2015 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: 'President Can't Swim.' ~ LBJ

The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years by Joseph A Califano is an insider's look at the LBJ presidency. Califano, a Harvard Law graduate, served time in the navy and Defense Department. At the start of the Kenedy Administration, he was selected by Robert McNamara to become one of the "whiz kids" in the Defense Department. His work di
Oct 02, 2016 Dominique rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Up Close and Personal Account of working with Lyndon Johnson

[Note: Review transitioned from Barnes & Noble website]

Joseph Califano--Special Assistant to the White House on Domestic Affairs (1965 - 1969)--has written a memoir about his experience working with President Lyndon Johnson.

When President Johnson succeeded John F. Kennedy to the throne, Johnson wanted to continue his predecessors legacy by creating the Great Society.

The timing was almost perfectly right during the 1960's to pus
Chris Burd
I genuinely knew next to nothing about President Johnson prior to reading this biography. I knew that he signed the Civil Rights Act, but I did not know how passionate he was about civil rights. I had no idea that his presidency gave us much of the consumer, environmental and equal rights protections that we have today. I walked away from this book with a much greater appreciation for President Johnson.

However, I would not generally recommend this book as a comprehensive biography - and it is no
Feb 03, 2016 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As part of both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson’s presidential administrations, the author has an insider view of politics, participants, legislation, and agendas. This book positively comments on Johnson’s Great Society program and key legislation that supported Medicare, urban renewal, education, crime prevention, and space exploration. It also notes the Vietnam War and race riots prevalent throughout his presidency. There is an interesting mixture of personal observation, presidenti ...more
Jimmy Tarlau
Dec 23, 2015 Jimmy Tarlau rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
A long memoir from Califano who was the Senior Advisor to LBJ on domestic affairs. I find it interesting to re-live my formative years (1965-1968) from the view of someone in the Johnson Administration. I was thinking about where I was at the time of the MLK assassination and the 68 Dem Convention and my perspective on this versus LBJ's perspective. Johnson was definitely an complex character who passed a lot of good domestic legislation. Unfortunately his war in Vietnam fundamentally changed th ...more
Brad Lucht
Jul 07, 2015 Brad Lucht rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lyndon Johnson will forever be remembered for his disastrous Vietnam war policy, but with this book Joe Califano does an excellent job detailing Johnson's extraordinary legislative accomplishments in establishing the Great Society.

Johnson's skill at advancing bills puts all other politicians to shame, most particularly the current occupant of the oval office.
Sep 12, 2016 Whoknew? rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Written in an anecdotal style by LBJ's right-hand-man on domestic affairs....some great insights into how LBJ drove his White House staff, dealt with Congress, and tried to handle/manipulate the media. Fascinating and inspiring, yet tragic as well. As others have said of Johnson; a flawed giant - but what a political animal and force he was!
Jim Ogle
Aug 30, 2015 Jim Ogle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great but flawed man. A great story.
Dec 04, 2015 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly informative
Alexander Holt
Jul 14, 2015 Alexander Holt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the new edition where Califano gives new advice to future Presidents.
Tom Leland
LBJ was, for the most part, a great president.
He suffered from bad timing and a misguided fear
of the communist threat in SE Asia.
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