- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Eighth Printing edition (June 15, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312060270
- ISBN-13: 978-0312060275
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 440 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream: The Most Revealing Portrait of a President and Presidential Power Ever Written Paperback – June 15, 1991
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“The most penetrating, fascinating political biography I have ever read . . . No other President has had a biographer who had such access to his private thoughts.” ―The New York Times
“Magnificent, brilliant, illuminating . . . A profound analysis of both the private and the public man.” ―Miami Herald
“Kearns has made Lyndon Johnson so whole, so understandable that the impact of the book is difficult to describe. It might have been called 'The Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson,' for he comes to seem nothing so much as a figure out of Greek tragedy.” ―Houston Chronicle
“Johnson's every word and deed is measured in an attempt to understand one of the most powerful yet tragic of American Presidents.” ―Chicago Tribune
“A fine and shrewd book . . . Extraordinary . . . Poignant . . . The best [biography of LBJ] we have to date.” ―Boston Globe
“An extraordinary portrait of a generous, devious, complex, and profoundly manipulative man . . . [Kearns Goodwin] became the custodian not only of LBJ's political lore but of his memories, hopes, and nightmares . . . We have it all laid out for us in this wrenchingly intimate analysis of a man who virtues, like his faults, were on a giant scale.” ―Cosmopolitan
“Absorbing and sympathetic, warts and all.” ―The Washington Post
“A grand and fascinating portrait of a most complicated, haunted, and here appealing man.” ―The Village Voice
“Vivid . . . No other book is likely to offer a sharper, more intimate portrait of Lyndon Johnson in his full psychic undress.” ―Newsweek
“Powerful, first-rate, gratifying . . . [The author] has proven herself worthy of Lyndon Johnson's trust; for by sharing his fears and dreams with us, she has helped us to understand no just one man, but an era, and ultimately ourselves.” ―Newsday
About the Author
Doris Kearns Goodwin, the celebrated historian who is also the author of The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys and other bestsellers, has written a new foreword for this edition of Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. She lives in Concord, Massachusetts, with her husband and their three sons.
Top customer reviews
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I had vague memories of photos of Johnson picking up his beagle by the ears, showing the world his scar from his gallbladder surgery, and standing beside a stricken Jackie Kennedy in her blood-stained dress as he took the oath of office. Then we were embroiled in the Vietnam war, and that's about all I remember about him.
This book fills in the details I didn't know and left me with the impression of a great man. He would have been a great president, too, if he had allowed himself to be entangled in the war. All his skill was in domestic policy, and he is responsible for Medicare, Medicaid, educational programs, and supporting his wife in her efforts to beautify America. He was a masterful leader in the senate, and if he hadn't been promoted beyond his competency, he would have had a wonderful end to his career.
Instead, he allowed himself to be pulled out of the senate into the shadow of Jack Kennedy, a man he could never have sympathy for. All his skills of getting people to do what he wanted, were wasted in the office of vice-president. Trying to live up to the memory of Kennedy place an unbearable burden on him.
Goodwin's book tells the whole story from his birth in a small town in Texas, to his death as a failed president. with sympathy and understanding.
His foreign relations knowledge was poor, nothing like his mastery of domestic life.
So he relied on experts like the generals and McNamara spouting mistaken Cold War propaganda when many looked backwards at WWII and imagined global monsters like Nazis and Commies.
These experts failed us - see the book "Dereliction of Duty" by H.R.McMaster
Eventually McNamara advised him the bombing wouldn't win, but too late by then, as LBJ would quit.
He also listened to the silent majority who still blithely thought we could win at least we should win. The younger generation disagreed and forced the issue. Television coverage helped convince enough voters and LBJ quit, to lead in the evil Mr. Nixon.