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Dallek is skilled at laying bare the man's complicated and even contradictory nature. At diplomacy, Johnson often seemed like a loud, brash American, yet successful trips to Southeast Asia and Africa as vice president prove his occasional adroitness in this area. One of Johnson's Achilles' heels, it seems, was paranoia; a firm believer in the fact that knowledge is power, Johnson rarely communicated his true intentions or feelings, even to his closest confidants or cabinet members, until the last. And he secretly tape-recorded thousands of conversations with people at all levels of government. Dallek avers that Johnson's impenetrability is the reason why much of his action on Vietnam defies explanation. And the dark cloud of the war now largely obfuscates Johnson's impressive congressional record. Careful to neither vilify nor deify his subject, Dallek devotes large sections of the book to both Vietnam and Johnson's major accomplishments in the area of reform and funding for programs such as civil rights, Medicare, clean air and water, the NEA, public broadcasting, and food stamps.
This engrossing biography is peppered throughout with snippets of its subject's trademark: colorfully idiomatic speech that brings him vibrantly to life. Based upon exclusive interviews with Lady Bird Johnson and Bill Moyers, as well as recently released papers and transcripts, Dallek's biography is a major contribution to the collective understanding of this man whose passions had a major impact on American society.
Lyndon Johnson was a man of many contrasts. This book by Robert Dallek explores many of them but unfortunately not to the extent of Johnson's other biographer Robert Caro. Read morePublished 7 months ago by robert boothby
As the title of the book indicates, Dallek takes a closer look at the political carrier of Lyndon Baines Johnson from the time he became vice president until his subsequent death... Read morePublished 16 months ago by E. Ofori Bekoe
I agree with the others who reviewed this and gave it only three stars. I did find the book to be a bit dry. I had expected a lot more from Dallek. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
An authoritative history do LBJ's White House years. This text is easily accessible and understood even without reading Lonoe Star Rising. Read morePublished on October 26, 2013 by epimetheus10
This is the best book I've read about LBJ. It is the second part of Dallek's two-volume series on Johnson. Read morePublished on February 13, 2013 by William T Holmes
1. Robert Dallek, an historian has written two volumes about LBJ. I have not read the first volume, which several reviewers have said is better than the second volume. Read morePublished on December 13, 2011 by Whetstone Guy
This is a well written account of Lyndon Johnson as president. It continues where MASTER OF THE SENATE by Robert Caro ends. Read morePublished on December 5, 2011 by James J. mcMahon