American Experience: LBJ
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time this film was made in 1990, his reputation was very
negative: the heartless war-monger and the sleazy wheeler-dealer. However, in the 1980's historians, prominent among them
Robert Dallek, had begun to bring out a more balanced, nuanced view of the man. These historians, whose views appear in this film marked a turning point in the public's view of this most complicated man. Long-time associate John Connally points out that he could be compassionate and cruel, crude or charming, generous or selfish. These different traits are constantly brought to the fore by the many people close to LBJ who appear in the film. Various important points that come out are:
(1) The breakthroughs in Civil Rights in the 1950's and 1960's were largely due to his efforts. As a Southerner he was able to get whites in the south to accept desegregation without a large-scale white backlash.
(2) The controversial senatorial election in 1948 which LBJ won by 87 votes with the help of ballot-box stuffing was hardly unusual in Texas or other parts of the country. Johnson was not involved personally in the incident. Although it is said that "Landslide Lyndon"'s career was stained by it, the same could be said of Harry Truman who was also elected in a similar way in 1934, and yet he managed to shake loose of the allegations.
(3) LBJ was well aware of the risks he was taking in committing
US ground forces to Vietnam. I was stunned when former Defense Secretary Clark Clifford states in the film that any other President would have taken the same decision.Read more ›
LBJ was a Conservative Democrat. LBJ was a liberal Democrat. LBJ could be the nicest chap you ever met. LBJ could be a real SOB. In short - LBJ was full of contradictions. It is this which is best brought out from both tapes. This is no narrative history. It attempts to really get behind the man.
I could go on of course. However, I would not want to spoil the hours of pure pleasure you are sure to attain with this video.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent book for social welfare policy. It is easy reading and gives a great breakdown of programs designed to help the poor. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Bbrown
No American President has probably known such highs and lows during their presidency then Lyndon Johnson, the 36th President of the United States. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Janet Chandler
If anyone wants to learn how political warfare created the infrastructural disaster, that is America today, one should view this dvd... Read morePublished on June 2, 2014 by james c harrell
Chose this item as a gift for a co worker who is a history buff and former history teacher, they loved it! Two thumbs up!Published on January 3, 2014 by Cameo Ray
This PBS documentary chronicles the life of President Lyndon B. Johnson the 36th President of The United States. Read morePublished on August 12, 2013 by Joe Owen
This doc was well made. Very well made.
Now, there is not enought time in 1000 hours of DVD to document or explain LBJ. Read more