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A Texan Looks at Lyndon : A Study in Illegitimate Power Mass Market Paperback – 1964

30 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Palo Duro Press; First Thus edition (1964)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002TOGU18
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,928,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Randall Ivey on July 31, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Haley wrote this book (and published it himself) in 1964 basically as a campaign tract for Barry Goldwater. In the intervening years it has become a classic of its kind,a philippic, to use M.E. Bradford's term, tracing the illegitimate rise to power of Lyndon Baines Johnson. If you're politically naive, this book will grown hair on your chest. It's an unblinking, fearless portrait of Johnson's wheeling dealing and underhanded methods to achieve the power, prestige, and money he craved all his life. Haley names all the names and lays out facts and figures for the reader to make up his mind. And the reader winds up shaking his head in utter astonishment. The best part of the book is that detailing Johnson's eventual election to the U.S. Senate in a contest with former Gov. Coke Stevenson. The election was clearly Stevenson's, but through the machinations of George Parr, the notorious Duke of Duval County, the results were turned around in LBJ's favor. Investigators later found that among those voting in the primary were people who didn't live in the county anymore and people who weren't alive at all. But the results stood.(An interesting and amusing aside: when Haley ran for Texas governor in 1956, he approached Parr and said, "I'm Evetts Haley. I'm running for governor, and if I win, it will be my privilege to put you in jail." Parr's reply: "I believe you will." Parr, the Artful Dodger of Texas politics for years, eventually killed himself.)
At times the book grows tiresome, especially in the Bobby Baker and Billie Sol Estes scandals, where Haley turns a virtual torrent of names and numbers on the reader as to be sometimes confusing.
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Harding VINE VOICE on May 31, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It would be an understatement to say that author Haley does not like Lyndon Baines Johnson. And despite the fact that his book is an unrelenting tirade against all things Lyndon, it provides a useful service in reminding the reader of how Johnson trampled and double-crossed friend and foe alike in his single-minded lust for power.
I am fairly conservative politically, but I am open-minded enough to recognize and oppose corruption whether practiced by liberals or conservatives. In my lifetime, Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton have been shining examples of the worst impulses in American presidential politics in which greed and lust for either power or money ended up overshadowing any of their real achievements.
Haley shows that Johnson was a man of few real principles, neither liberal nor conservative, but rather a man who usually always wanted to know which way the wind was blowing before taking a stand on any important issue. Johnson was a man who used all his powers of persuasion and veiled threats to get what he wanted and woe unto anyone who stood in his way. He was a man who knew and used the old adage "It's not what you know, but who you know" to Machiavellian extremes. But he was also a man of sometimes great political courage who would rarely give an inch once he took a stand. He hated those who opposed him, nursed resentments, and wreaked revenge on those who crossed him in the least as most of his enemies and many of his friends learned to their sorrow. From the earliest days, he was involved with corrupt Texas politicians from the local to the state level and swam in the seas of corporate corruption with the likes of the infamous swindler Billy Sol Estes and others of his stripe.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 25, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Growing up in Texas, I found this book to be alarmingly accurate. Living in Jim Wells County, I found this book to be no less than the absolute truth. I knew most of the people mentioned, or their children (who of course were not only grown, but certainly more than adults) Mr. J. Evetts Haley and his family were banished from Texas, his book banned and illegal to own. Some things were not spoken of in Texas, but Mr. Haley told it all. (or most all) It is a shame that no one else picked up where Mr. Haley left off. But there has never been a more honest, forthright, or honestly correct book written about any of our politicians. I found no discrepancies in names, dates, times or events in this book. I perhaps saw just a bit more evidence than he did, or perhaps, he chose not to mention all that he had seen, but after reading the book, I rather doubt that he hid anything that he knew. This book will be passed down to my children and hopefully to their children until the entire truth will be found.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Reynolds on January 30, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This not-too-well organized or written condemnation of Lyndon Johnson represented the first documented gathering of serious charges about LBJ's ethics and practices. Dismissed as angry ranting by a fawning Texas public when first published, this little book outlines broadly the subject areas later explored in detail by Robert Caro in his superlative "The Years of Lyndon Johnson" series. This brief paperback does not read smoothly -- and it helps a great deal to have read Caro's books before reading it -- but you will see that at least one person was fully onto Lyndon Johnson's supernatural self-interest and pragmatic willingness to do whatever was necessary for advancing Lyndon Johnson. My grandparents worshipped Lyndon -- and showing this book to them, when it first came out, was like tossing holy water on a demon. They did not want to have ANYTHING to do with it. Lyndon had completely won their hearts and minds.
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