Lyndon B. Johnson

The American Presidents Series: The 36th President, 1963-1969

Lyndon B. Johnson

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.

Guns or Butter : The Presidency of Lyndon Johnson

The Presidency of Lyndon Johnson

Guns or Butter : The Presidency of Lyndon Johnson

The presidency of Lyndon Johnson was a pivotal moment in twentieth-century American history. From the decisive social programs of the Great Society, to the triumph of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts, to the catastrophe of the Vietnam War and domestic unrest, it was an era of dramatic accomplishment and wrenching tragedy. In Guns or Butter, renowned historian Irving Bernstein brings those five climactic years of the sixties vividly to life, from the moment Lee Harvey Oswald aimed a rifle from the window of the Texas School Depository to the tense ballot-counting that put Richard Nixon in the White House in 1968. Bernstein's book is a narrative masterpiece, filled with sharply drawn character sketches and swiftly moving accounts of events that range from deals cut in the Senate cloakroom, to police charging after protesters on the streets of Selma, to Vietcong commandos bursting into the American embassy in Saigon. We see Johnson ordering aides Bill Moyers and Richard Goodwin to strip and join him for a skinny-dip in the White House pool, where they formulate the Great Society. And we see a tired, distracted president pacing in his bathrobe around a table model of the besieged Khe Sanh garrison, examining aerial photographs and casualty reports. Equally important, Bernstein offers a deft assessment of Johnson's successes and failures, from his legislative programs to his futile pursuit of the war in Vietnam to his failure to boost Hubert Humphrey's presidential campaign in 1968. The author not only retells the maneuvering that brought the president's plans into law, he also analyzes and explains their impact, from the Voting Rights Act to Medicare. The Great Society, Bernstein concludes, was a triumph, but Johnson's attempt to have both guns and butter, to pursue massive domestic initiatives together with a bitter undeclared war, led to runaway inflation that ultimately undermined his presidency. From the dark moments after Kennedy's assassination in 1963, to the heady days of legislative victories of 1965, to the bloody crescendo of riots, assassinations, and military battles in 1968, Johnson's administration was a defining moment in modern American history. In Guns or Butter, Irving Bernstein brilliantly captures both the events and the meaning of those momentous years. Aside from its historical value, this book has major current significance. The legislative program Newt Gingrich and his Republican colleagues introduced in 1995 was designed to repeal the Great Society. Before doing so, members of Congress and the interested public should understand Lyndon Johnson's vision and the legislation that was enacted during the sixties. Guns or Butter provides that critical information.

And the Crooked Places Made Straight

The Struggle for Social Change in the 1960s

And the Crooked Places Made Straight

David Chalmers's widely acclaimed overview of the 1960s describes how the civil rights movement touched off a growing challenge to traditional values and arrangements. Chalmers recounts the judicial revolution that set national standards for race, politics, policing, and privacy. He examines the long, losing war on poverty and the struggle between the media and the government over the war in Vietnam. He follows feminism's "second wave" and the emergence of the environmental, consumer, and citizen action movements. He also explores the worlds of rock, sex, and drugs, and the entwining of the youth culture, the counterculture, and the American marketplace. This newly revised edition covers the conservative counter-revolution and cultural wars. It carries the legacy of the 1960s forward: from Tom Hayden’s idealistic 1962 Port Huron Statement through Newt Gingrich’s 1994 "Contract with America" and Grover Norquist’s twenty-first century "Tax Payer’s Protection Pledge." -- David J. Garrow, author of the Pulitzer Prize– winning cMantra1IcMantra2Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership ConferencecMantra1/IcMantra2

Law and Order

Street Crime, Civil Unrest, and the Crisis of Liberalism in the 1960s

Law and Order

Law and Order offers a valuable new study of the political and social history of the 1960s. It presents a sophisticated account of how the issues of street crime and civil unrest enhanced the popularity of conservatives, eroded the credibility of liberals, and transformed the landscape of American politics. Ultimately, the legacy of law and order was a political world in which the grand ambitions of the Great Society gave way to grim expectations. In the mid-1960s, amid a pervasive sense that American society was coming apart at the seams, a new issue known as law and order emerged at the forefront of national politics. First introduced by Barry Goldwater in his ill-fated run for president in 1964, it eventually punished Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats and propelled Richard Nixon and the Republicans to the White House in 1968. In this thought-provoking study, Michael Flamm examines how conservatives successfully blamed liberals for the rapid rise in street crime and then skillfully used law and order to link the understandable fears of white voters to growing unease about changing moral values, the civil rights movement, urban disorder, and antiwar protests. Flamm documents how conservatives constructed a persuasive message that argued that the civil rights movement had contributed to racial unrest and the Great Society had rewarded rather than punished the perpetrators of violence. The president should, conservatives also contended, promote respect for law and order and contempt for those who violated it, regardless of cause. Liberals, Flamm argues, were by contrast unable to craft a compelling message for anxious voters. Instead, liberals either ignored the crime crisis, claimed that law and order was a racist ruse, or maintained that social programs would solve the "root causes" of civil disorder, which by 1968 seemed increasingly unlikely and contributed to a loss of faith in the ability of the government to do what it was above all sworn to do-protect personal security and private property.

The Sixties

From Memory to History

The Sixties

This collection of original essays represents some of the most exciting ways in which historians are beginning to paint the 1960s onto the larger canvas of American history. While the first literature about this turbulent period was written largely by participants, many of the contributors to this volume are young scholars who came of age intellectually in the 1970s and 1980s and thus write from fresh perspectives. The essayists ask fundamental questions about how much America really changed in the 1960s and why certain changes took place. In separate chapters, they explore how the great issues of the decade--the war in Vietnam, race relations, youth culture, the status of women, the public role of private enterprise--were shaped by evolutions in the nature of cultural authority and political legitimacy. They argue that the whirlwind of events and problems we call the Sixties can only be understood in the context of the larger history of post-World War II America. Contents "Growth Liberalism in the Sixties: Great Societies at Home and Grand Designs Abroad," by Robert M. Collins "The American State and the Vietnam War: A Genealogy of Power," by Mary Sheila McMahon "And That's the Way It Was: The Vietnam War on the Network Nightly News," by Chester J. Pach, Jr. "Race, Ethnicity, and the Evolution of Political Legitimacy," by David R. Colburn and George E. Pozzetta "Nothing Distant about It: Women's Liberation and Sixties Radicalism," by Alice Echols "The New American Revolution: The Movement and Business," by Terry H. Anderson "Who'll Stop the Rain?: Youth Culture, Rock 'n' Roll, and Social Crises," by George Lipsitz "Sexual Revolution(s)," by Beth Bailey "The Politics of Civility," by Kenneth Cmiel "The Silent Majority and Talk about Revolution," by David Farber

The Crosswinds of Freedom, 1932–1988

The Crosswinds of Freedom, 1932–1988

A Pulitzer Prize winner’s “immensely readable” history of the United States from FDR’s election to the final days of the Cold War (Publishers Weekly). The Crosswinds of Freedom is an articulate and incisive examination of the United States during its rise to become the world’s sole superpower. Here is a young democracy transformed by the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Cold War, the rapid pace of technological change, and the distinct visions of nine presidents. Spanning fifty-six years and touching on many corners of the nation’s complex cultural tapestry, Burns’s work is a remarkable look at the forces that gave rise to the “American Century.”

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

Volume 3: History

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture

Providing a chronological and interpretive spine to the twenty-four volumes of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, this volume broadly surveys history in the American South from the Paleoindian period (approximately 8000 B.C.E.) to the present. In 118 essays, contributors cover the turbulent past of the region that has witnessed frequent racial conflict, a bloody Civil War fought and lost on its soil, massive in- and out-migration, major economic transformations, and a civil rights movement that brought fundamental change to the social order. Charles Reagan Wilson's overview essay examines the evolution of southern history and the way our understanding of southern culture has unfolded over time and in response to a variety of events and social forces--not just as the opposite of the North but also in the larger context of the Atlantic World. Longer thematic essays cover major eras and events, such as early settlement, slave culture, Reconstruction, the New Deal, and the rise of the New South. Brief topical entries cover individuals--including figures from the Civil War, the civil rights movement, and twentieth-century politics--and organizations such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Daughters of the Confederacy, and Citizens' Councils, among others. Together, these essays offer a sweeping reference to the rich history of the region.

The Music Has Gone Out of the Movement

Civil Rights and the Johnson Administration, 1965-1968

The Music Has Gone Out of the Movement

After the passage of sweeping civil rights and voting rights legislation in 1964 and 1965, the civil rights movement stood poised to build on considerable momentum. In a famous speech at Howard University in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared that victory in the next battle for civil rights would be measured in "equal results" rather than equal rights and opportunities. It seemed that for a brief moment the White House and champions of racial equality shared the same objectives and priorities. Finding common ground proved elusive, however, in a climate of growing social and political unrest marked by urban riots, the Vietnam War, and resurgent conservatism. Examining grassroots movements and organizations and their complicated relationships with the federal government and state authorities between 1965 and 1968, David C. Carter takes readers through the inner workings of local civil rights coalitions as they tried to maintain strength within their organizations while facing both overt and subtle opposition from state and federal officials. He also highlights internal debates and divisions within the White House and the executive branch, demonstrating that the federal government's relationship to the movement and its major goals was never as clear-cut as the president's progressive rhetoric suggested. Carter reveals the complex and often tense relationships between the Johnson administration and activist groups advocating further social change, and he extends the traditional timeline of the civil rights movement beyond the passage of the Voting Rights Act.