Coupon
Lyndon B. Johnson
by Charles Peters and Jr. Arthur Meier Schlesinger and Sean Wilentz


Overview -

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.  Read more...


 
Hardcover
  • $26.00
  • Members Save 10% Club Price
    $ 23.40

Add to Cart + Add to Wishlist

In Stock.

FREE Shipping for Club Members
 
> Check In-Store Availability

In-Store pricing may vary

 
 
New & Used Marketplace 31 copies from $6.10
 
Download

This item is available only to U.S. billing addresses.
 
 
 

More About Lyndon B. Johnson by Charles Peters; Jr. Arthur Meier Schlesinger; Sean Wilentz
 
 
 
Overview

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 assassination on November 22, 1963.

Charles Peters, a keen observer of Washington politics for more than five decades, tells the story of Johnson's presidency as the tale of an immensely talented politician driven by ambition and desire. As part of the Kennedy-Johnson administration from 1961 to 1968, Peters knew key players, including Johnson's aides, giving him inside knowledge of the legislative wizardry that led to historic triumphs like the Voting Rights Act and the personal insecurities that led to the tragedy of Vietnam.

Peters's experiences have given him unique insight into the poisonous rivalry between Johnson and Robert F. Kennedy, showing how their misunderstanding of each other exacerbated Johnson's self-doubt and led him into the morass of Vietnam, which crippled his presidency and finally drove this larger-than-life man from the office that was his lifelong ambition.

Charles Peters is the author of "Five Days in Philadelphia" and "How Washington Really Works," among other books. He is the founder of "The Washington Monthly," that he edited for thirty-two years, following a career in politics and government which included serving in the West Virginia legislature, working on John F. Kennedy's 1960 campaign, and helping to launch the Peace Corps. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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 assassination on November 22, 1963.

Charles Peters, a keen observer of Washington politics for more than five decades, tells the story of Johnson's presidency as the tale of an immensely talented politician driven by ambition and desire. As part of the Kennedy-Johnson administration from 1961 to 1968, Peters knew key players, including Johnson's aides, giving him inside knowledge of the legislative wizardry that led to historic triumphs like the Voting Rights Act and the personal insecurities that led to the tragedy of Vietnam.

Peters's experiences have given him unique insight into the poisonous rivalry between Johnson and Robert F. Kennedy, showing how their misunderstanding of each other exacerbated Johnson's self-doubt and led him into the morass of Vietnam, which crippled his presidency and finally drove this larger-than-life man from the office that was his lifelong ambition. "This book is a rare gem of cogency and insight by one of America's most original thinkers on politics and government. In one slender volume, Charles Peters captures every relevant part of LBJ's life, breaks important new ground with fresh reporting, and offers peerless historical context. It's hard to believe for a book so short, but this is the finest one-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson yet written."--Jonathan Alter, author of "The Promise: President Obama," "Year One" and "The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope""" "Tired of waiting for Robert Caro to wrap up his mammoth, multivolume biography of Lyndon Johnson? If so, Charles Peters's sleek little number on the 36th president may ease your restlessness. Peters knows this material both as an insider (he worked on the 1960 presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy, who picked Johnson as his running mate) and as a longtime observer (he went on to found and edit the Washington Monthly)."--Dennis Drabelle, " The Washington Post""" "A slim but penetrating biography of Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973). Washington Monthly founder Peters . . . paints a mostly unpleasant portrait of a fiercely ambitious climber who lacked any inhibition when it came to lying, cheating, bribing and betrayal. Though he doesn't conceal the 36th president's ugly traits or his role in the fiasco in Vietnam, the author also stresses that, along with Franklin Roosevelt, Johnson produced the greatest reform legislation of the 20th century. The son of a Texas legislator, Johnson grew up fascinated with politics. He learned the ropes in FDR's Washington before winning election to the House in 1937. He lost the 1941 Senate election due to his opponent's cheating, but he learned enough to cheat his way to victory in 1948. Although an enthusiastic New Dealer, he joined the nation's move to the right after World War II and became an equally enthusiastic Southern conservative. Accepting the obscure job of majority leader, Johnson fashioned it into a powerful office that streamlined the Senate's moribund procedures and gave him national fame as a political wizard. Young senator John F. Kennedy rejected his staff's opposition to choose him as running mate in 1960, believing correctly that Southern votes would determine a very close race. As president after Kennedy's assassination, Johnson displayed his genuine concern with poverty and injustice and, unlike later presidents, the political skill to do something about it. Before delivering a painful account of Johnson's disastrous involvement in Vietnam, Peters makes it clear that the 1964-65 civil-rights, voting-rights and Medicare legislation represent dazzling humanitarian achievements. With the final volume yet to appear, Robert Caro's magnificent biography is the standard-bearer, but Peters delivers a splendid short version." --"Kirkus Reviews" "In the only hostile entry thus far in the American Presidents series, Elizabeth Drew questioned Nixon's moral fitness to be president. Given Lyndon Johnson's early election-stealing and sycophancy in New Deal Washington, later boorish and cruel treatment of subordinates, constant womanizing, an

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780805082395
  • ISBN-10: 0805082395
  • Publisher: Times Books
  • Publish Date: June 2010
  • Page Count: 199

Series: American Presidents (Times)

Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Presidents & Heads of State
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Historical - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2010-07-26
  • Reviewer: Staff

Part of the admirable American President Series, edited by Peters, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., and Sean Wilentz, this concise biography continues the rehabilitation of the man who served as the 36th President of the United States. Peters, a former member of Johnson’s administration, asserts that Johnson, raised in the nasty world of Texas politics, remained ruthlessly dedicated to his own advancement and became a great, if flawed, statesman. Congressman Johnson’s work ethic and fawning charm appealed to FDR in 1930s Washington, but in 1948, power took priority, leading Johnson toward conservatism upon entering the Southern-dominated Senate. Despite his brilliance as majority leader during the ‘50s, few took his presidential ambitions seriously and the 1960 offer to be Kennedy’s running mate was viewed as his only hope. But after Kennedy’s assassination, Johnson transformed himself again, this time into a compassionate reformer. His Medicare and anti-poverty legislation closed out the Roosevelt era, and his civil rights bills (considered hopeless under Kennedy) made him the greatest benefactor of African-Americans since Lincoln. Although Peters details Johnson’s Vietnam debacle with new insight, readers will still take away a vividly positive understanding of this president’s accomplishments. (June)

 
BAM Customer Reviews