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A White House Diary Paperback – October 1, 2007
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Anyone reading this Diary cannot be but amazed at the tremendous amount of people the Johnsons knew and their seemingly continuous involvement with them. Another element which is consistent in the work is its not focusing on the words and deeds of the President. This is really Lady Bird's story. And while her role as Presidential wife, deference to her husband is always there she primarily talks here about what she saw and heard. Her role as mother also plays a good part here.
Still the work reveals much about the Johnson's rich world of acquaintances, political contacts. One of the little known stories about Lyndon Johnson was that he as a young politician went out of his way to help rescue Jews from the Nazis. One moving visit spoken about in the Diary is to an Austin congregation consisting in good part of those saved and their descendants.
Lady Bird like her husband had a great appetite and appreciation for life. She writes in a direct way about her world of interests, including her social and charity work. She does not focus on the great historical events but on day- to- day life of her family.
This is a very fine and informative book. Anyone who truly appreciates American political life will greatly enjoy this.
I had the good fortune to meet Mrs. Johnson in the late 1970s when she was serving as a University of Texas regent. She was charming, a real straight shooter, very much her own person and better looking than her photographs, though no beauty.
Mrs. Johnson seems to have had the gift of friendship, and the class to refrain getting back at her critics in print. Though treated badly by the Kennedys and their hangers-on, she spoke no evil about them, though she must have been mighty tempted.
Goes well with Lady Bird: A Biography of Mrs. Johnson by Jan Jarboe Russell, although the second book is sometimes more laudatory than necessary. A White House Diary avoids much of the excuse-making of later first lady books.
The entire diary underscores the former First Lady's true graciousness and strength of character. She plainly cares about others; makes a point to accentuate the positive and couches her general observations in very gentle, pleasant terms.
As First Lady and prior to that, the wife of the Vice President and also a senator, Lady Bird came in contact with very powerful politicos of the day. She has interesting anecdotes to share and always with the same tone of acceptance. At no time does she denigrate anyone.
Her big nod to President Lyndon B. Johnson was in talking about the things they shared in disussions and about the people they knew. She includes little known and rarely covered stories involving President Johnson, such as his strong stand against the WWII atrocities and his direct involvement in helping Holocaust survivors.
Her daughters, Lynda and Luci are described in glowing terms. The former First Daughters and their families continue to be active politically.
Lady Bird is also known for her legacy of beauty. She went on a mission to beautify America by having many billboards removed and by planting vast stretches of wildflowers. In fact, a Lady Bird Wildflower Center and a lake named in her honor stand as testamony to her passionate work for the environment.
Lady Bird. A truly good woman, a humble sower of seeds to share beauty. Her legacy will keep her in the hearts and minds of many.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book as I found it to be a wife's story of daily life. She shares her family happenings as well as her many meetings with women's groups and all the visitors of the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Gini Breaton
A little slow in places, but great review of her daily life and how she felt about events. Just toured the Johnson Ranch in Texas and was glad I got this. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Janet
I am enjoying reading Lady Bird's private diary recordings. I have read several books on LBJ and it is interesting getting Mrs. Read morePublished on August 22, 2013 by Kindle Customer
When Claudia "Lady Bird" Johnson first published her diary of everyday life as First Lady of The United States in 1970, she was one of the very first First Ladies of The United... Read morePublished on August 22, 2013 by Joe Owen