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2. Lyndon Baines Johnson: late a
4. Lyndon B. Johnson: Thirty-sixth
5. Lyndon B. Johnson: The American
6. Lyndon B. Johnson: Portrait of
7. Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson
8. Johnson's War/Johnson's Great
9. LBJ
10. Master of the Senate: The Years

by 1st Session..House Document No. 93-11 93d Congress
 Hardcover: Pages (1973-01-01)

Asin: B001BK85TQ
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2. Lyndon Baines Johnson: late a president of the United States: memorial services
by Congress
 Hardcover: Pages (1973-01-01)

Asin: B002J4BKUO
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by Multiple Contributors
 Hardcover: Pages (1973-01-01)

Asin: B0036ZZTFW
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4. Lyndon B. Johnson: Thirty-sixth President 1963-1969 (Getting to Know the Us Presidents)
by Mike Venezia
Paperback: 32 Pages (2007-09)
list price: US$7.95 -- used & new: US$3.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0531179486
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Author/illustrator Mike Venezia has been introducing children to great artists and composers for more than 15 years. In his newest series, he brings to life the greatest historical figures of the United States 151 the U.S. presidents. Once again, Mr. Venezia has combined humor with history to make learning fun. Each book is a delightful mix of full-color historical reproductions and photos, hilarious cartoon-style illustrations, and simple, factual text describing each president s path toward the nation s highest office. Author: Mike Venezia Reading Level: Ages 9-12 Format: 32 pages, Paperback Publisher: Children s Press (CT) (March 2007) ISBN: 978-0531179482 ... Read more

5. Lyndon B. Johnson: The American Presidents Series: The 36th President, 1963-1969
by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Sean Wilentz, Charles Peters
Kindle Edition: 224 Pages (2010-06-02)
list price: US$22.99
Asin: B003JTHZDE
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

The towering figure who sought to transform America into a "Great Society" but whose ambitions and presidency collapsed in the tragedy of the Vietnam War

Few figures in American history are as compelling and complex as Lyndon Baines Johnson, who established himself as the master of the U.S. Senate in the 1950s and succeeded John F. Kennedy in the White House after Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963.

Charles Peters, a keen observer of Washington politics for more than five decades, tells the story of Johnson's presidency as the tale of an immensely talented politician driven by ambition and desire. As part of the Kennedy-Johnson administration from 1961 to 1968, Peters knew key players, including Johnson's aides, giving him inside knowledge of the legislative wizardry that led to historic triumphs like the Voting Rights Act and the personal insecurities that led to the tragedy of Vietnam.

Peters's experiences have given him unique insight into the poisonous rivalry between Johnson and Robert F. Kennedy, showing how their misunderstanding of each other exacerbated Johnson's self-doubt and led him into the morass of Vietnam, which crippled his presidency and finally drove this larger-than-life man from the office that was his lifelong ambition.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

2-0 out of 5 stars Lyndon Johnson- Key Items Missing
Charles Peters does a good to excellent job at outlining the 36th president of the United States.Of particular note is his understanding and explanation for the Viet Nam years that were to become the "straw" that broke the Johnson administration.However, two key elements of the Johnson story are missing.These two facets of Lyndon Johnson are key to understanding; first his rise to power, and second a major contributor to his decline via Viet Nam.The first missing critical piece concerns his rise to power: the vast Houston/Texas machine with which Johnson wielded unbridled power, and second his fear of Viet Nam that led to his involvement in the Six Day War conspiracy and the resulting "death" of the USS Liberty. The "Liberty Incident" would later set the diplomatic sieve that led to the capture of the USS Pueblo, the only US ship to fall into foriegn hands.

4-0 out of 5 stars LBJ 101
Charles Peters successfully crafts an effectively concise biography of the paradoxical Lyndon Baines Johnson, a man who is sometimes kind and compassionate, sometimes a narcissistic bully. Peters lays out the many dimensions of the man, beginning with his childhood, the influence of his parents, his political career, the trials and tribulations of his presidency and his brief retirement.

Despite the book's paucity, Peters is able to give the reader both the big and small pictures. Johnson's drive to bring about the Great Society is explained, as well as a detailed account of how Johnson was dragged into the Vietnam quagmire, and how he waded in deeper and deeper even as it became more and more apparent that this was a fight he couldn't win.

Peters also explores the unseemly side of Johnson, including his extra-marital dalliances and his belittling and humiliating treatment of his staff. A skilled writer, Peters is able to broach those subjects without succumbing to sensationalism or a trashy tabloid journalism style.

I recommend this book as a wonderful account of the life of a complicated man, showing warts and all, but leaving the reader with a new appreciation for Johnson's goals and ambitions and for all that he was able to accomplish, especially in the field of civil rights. If you've wondered why many historians include Johnson in the list of great presidents, this book will help you to understand why. If Lyndon Johnson does not strike you an an interesting president before you read that book, you opinion will be significantly changed by this delightful biography.

3-0 out of 5 stars A complex story told too simply
I have enjoyed the American President's Series and have found that they do a better job when they examine the lesser known presidents.Historians such as Robert Caro and Doris Kerns Goodwin have written much better and more detailed histories of LBJ and sadly this book, while factually correct and interesting, just can not compare.

Charles Peters does a credible job at telling a complex story but this is a character who needs more room for his story to be told.Just as Lincoln, or FDR needs more room in a biography so does Lyndon Johnson. He was President during a period of great change for the country. He was very influential and is very interesting both for his success and his failures, both of epic scale. I think this is interesting but I think the series is better with lesser known characters.

3-0 out of 5 stars Insecurity
I've liked each of the books I've read in the American Presidents Series, and the latest for me, Lyndon B. Johnson, may be the shortest book about the 36th president I've read. Despite the brevity, Charles Peters captured Johnson quite well, in my opinion, especially the insecurity he felt throughout his life. Peters presents the highs and lows of Johnson's life and presidency, and through snippets covers the man fully, warts and all. The way in which Johnson berated his subordinates has always intrigued me, and Peters covers that with clarity and efficiency. Any reader who enjoys history and efficient writing will appreciate this book.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read: the essence of LBJ
I was thrilled to discover that Charles Peters' LYNDON B.JOHNSON is a must-read account and assessment of LBJ--his triumphs and his failures, warts and all. It has the freshness and the definitive insights similar to what John Lewis Gaddis provided in his nearly 400-page THE COLD WAR: A NEW HISTORY.

One-hundred-sixty-one pages in which to capture the essence, the explosive charm and the denigrating crudeness of LBJ? How could this satisfy both a generation that had experienced the Johnson years as well as a new group that know only snippets about the man `responsible for the Vietnam quagmire?' This is a seemingly impossible task that Peters has accomplished with eloquence, an uncommon grasp of Johnson's complexities and apparent contradictions, and with keen personal insights from his participation in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and over forty years as Mr. The Washington Monthly.

I plunged into LYNDON B. JOHNSON with apprehensions. As a Foreign Service Officer I twice (1965 and 1967) had been invited by our ambassador in Saigon to join him and had twice refused. I am familiar with George Ball, Sam Adams, and Jim Thomson on Vietnam. I have read over 2,000 pages of Caro's monumental Johnson biography and await his capstone volume on THE PRESIDENCY. I have admired Dallek on Johnson and was one of the early readers of Kearns' LYNDON JOHNSON AND THE AMERICAN DREAM. I considered Patterson's 185 pages in GRAND EXPECTATIONS on the Johnson presidency to be a superb synthesis.

As Peters describes, `Landslide Lyndon' was a shameless suck up to those who could advance his unbridled ambitions. Sam Rayburn and Richard Russell were his carefully targeted `daddies,' and he fawned over FDR. His ruthless obsession with power as well as an uncanny ability to mastermind pragmatic compromises led to a functional relationship with Ike and to earning the accolade, in Caro's words, MASTER OF THE SENATE.Peters does not fully explain why Johnson traded being Senate majority leader for being an outsider vice president in a Kennedy administration that virtually ostracized him.

Peters, relying on his personal contacts and savvy from being a Washington insider for two generations, has captured the soul of the Johnson presidency. Johnson's War on Poverty and Great Society initiatives, though brief, have had a more profound impact on America than did FDR's One Hundred Days. "We Shall Overcome" Johnson, whobroke an unprecedented 75-day Senate filibuster in achieving the Civil Rights Act of 1964,, together with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, accomplished more for civil rights than any other American president except, perhaps, Lincoln.

Medicare, federal aid to education, the National Endowment for the Arts (and Humanities), and dozens of other systemic-change legislation profoundly altered the American landscape. The Johnson overreach enacted more legislation than could effectively be implemented. Ironically, five days after signing the 1965 voting law, the Watts riot triggered outbursts through the country and sharply diminished the civil rights political momentum.

Were President Johnson to be judged solely on his domestic accomplishments, historians might rank him among the great American presidents. But there was Vietnam. Peters devotes 20% of his 161-page essay to Vietnam. This alone makes LYNDON B. JOHNSON a `must read.' He tells the story of a modern Greek tragedy. Johnson, with his Alamo and Neville Chamberlain psychological baggage, could not be the first American president to lose a war. (Nor could JFK, but that's another story.) On Vietnam LBJ turned and twisted like a moth attracted to a flame. He desperately sought some honorable accommodation. Ho Chi Minh, with the patience and historical certitude acquired during his Dien Bien Phu saga, ignored Johnson's desperate efforts to strike a deal. Years from now historians might compare Johnson's dilemma with what has occurred to the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Johnson was a driven man without a less-frenetic cruise control. This resulted in great domestic triumphs and his Vietnam Waterloo. Ironically, the Tet offensive, which Walter Cronkite, the media, and the American public viewed as a massive American defeat, was in fact, a significant U. S. military victory. The loss of Johnson credibility on Vietnam rendered him incapable of capitalizing on this `victory.'

Even today the Johnson record is dominated by his Vietnam record. Peters places this in its proper perspective. (It took the devious Nixon/Kissinger duo another five years, and massive additional American and Vietnamese casualties, to execute a withdrawal without honor.) What occurred was, in my view, inevitable and Johnson, in part because of his personal excesses, remains the fall guy for Vietnam.

Peters argues that Johnson's total record earns him a spot at least in the pantheon of near great American presidents. I agree. I hope that his essay will soften some of the self-righteous vitriol that historians still display towards Johnson. As an historian, I think it unlikely, at least in my lifetime, that Johnson will experience the upgrade in historians' rankings that Truman experienced.

I urge historical pundits to read Peters' LYNDON B. JOHNSON and then to reflect on what this extraordinary personality has accomplished for modern-day America.
... Read more

6. Lyndon B. Johnson: Portrait of a President
by Robert Dallek
Kindle Edition: 406 Pages (2004-01-08)
list price: US$16.95
Asin: B000S1L4U6
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Robert Dallek's brilliant two-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson has received an avalanche of praise. Now Dallek has condensed his two-volume masterpiece into what is surely the finest one-volume biography of Johnson available. Based on years of research in over 450 manuscript collections and oral histories, as well as numerous personal interviews, this biography follows Johnson, the 'human dynamo', from the Texas hill country to the White House. In these pages, Johson emerges as a man of towering intensity and anguished insecurity, of grandiose ambition and grave self-doubt, a man who was brilliant, crude, intimidating, compassionate, overbearing, driven. Gracefully written and delicately balanced, this singular biography reveals both the greatness and the tangled complexities of one of the most extravagant characters ever to step onto the presidential stage. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting portrait, but clearly abridged
Interesting portrait, but clearly abridged.The book felt very rushed towards the end as if Dallek was rushing against a page count. I wish I would have read the two volume set.

5-0 out of 5 stars Portait of a complex man
During the 1960s, I was one of those who Johnson saw as aiding and abetting the enemy.I was strongly opposed to the Vietnam War and participated in demonstrations to try to bring an end to the war.I saw Johnson as a very one-issue president who was more concerned with ego and grandeur than peace and justice.Mr. Dallek's biography has helped me to flush out the man and his accomplishments.He truly brought civil rights to the political forefront and created programs that helped bring African American's out of abject poverty.He tried to bring New Deal sensibilities into the 1960s.Mr. Dallek's portrait is of a man of great ego who believed strongly in his causes.This resulted in both great accomplishments and failures.This biography helps flesh out a man who is only now, forty years later, being seen from for the complex individual that he is.This is a great and enlightening read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth Repeating: Best one volume bio of LBJ
Given the complexity of both the man and the times he lived in I would have thought that a one volume biography of Lyndon Johnson was impossible. While certain sacrifices are made, for example the LBJ's relationships with his contemporaries are often glossed over, the book does its job and portrays the basics of who LBJ was.Dallek also does a good job at describing the master politician that LBJ was and how that helped him craft one of the most assertive and successful legislative agenda's in American history. Lastly, he explains how LBJ's obession with Vietnam ultimately lead to his downfall.A very interesting book and a strong must read for people interested in 20th century history.

5-0 out of 5 stars read
I have not had a chance to read this book yet.Please check back with me later.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lyndon Johnson, President During a Difficult Decade
Lyndon B. Johnson will be remembered as President for his passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and also for his unwillingness to become the first president to lose a war.A career in politics will invariably lead one to people you dislike and Lyndon had his share of those, notably Bobby Kennedy.Johnson was a very down to earth individual, some would say crude, in his manner of speech to others, but he was a tireless worker in the area of Civil Rights in which he was successful, and in regard to the Vietnam war which wore him down to the extent that he chose not to run for a second term in 1968.His reason for not more actively bombing North Vietnam and escalating the war in that regard was his fear of China and Russia entering the conflict.It so happened that it was he who was president when the war reached the stalemate stage, but chances are anyone else would have adopted the same policy as he did.However, his stubborness in not having his presidency tarnished with a defeat in the war ultimately wore him down with him leaving office with an escalated war beyond his control.Our history is littered with presidents whose names are barely remembered, but Lyndon Baines Johnson will always be remembered, mostly for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which brought the southern states in line with the rest of the nation regarding an integrated society and for a fruitless war fought over an erroneous domino theory in which one successive country after another will fall to communism if one of them does.The book is nearly 400 pages long, but it is a read well worth your time. ... Read more

7. Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1908-1960 Volume 1
by Robert Dallek
Kindle Edition: 752 Pages (1991-08-15)
list price: US$28.12
Asin: B00272NGBE
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Robert Dalleck, winner of the prestigious Bancroft Prize, offers a brilliant portrait of one of this century's great American politicians--Lyndon Johnson. The first of a two-volume biography, Lone Star Rising deals with Johnson's childhood through his election to the Vice Presidency under Kennedy. Based on years of manuscript research, oral histories, and numerous personal interviews, this remarkable biography defines Johnson as never before--as a complex and representative figure with a penchant for both good and bad. 30 halftones. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive bio on LBJ
For the foreseeable future, I think it's safe to say Dallek's two volumes will be the definitive LBJ biography for the simple reason(s) that it's unclear if Caro will finish his works and it is doubtful that anyone will soon take on the onerous task of researching Johnson's extremely complicated life ... and find anything new. This volume tracks LBJ's life up to the 1960 election and everything is here ... and I mean everything, from Johnson's lineage, his childhood and education, his work as a New Deal caretaker and Texas politician, his dubious "military service", his meteoric climb through both the House and US Senate, including his "election" to the latter and finally his acceptance as JFK's vice-presidential running mate. The reader meets the big (and small) personalities in LBJ's life including FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Sam Rayburn, Richard Russell and Hubert Humphrey as well as the truly dedicated people who worked ungodly hours for him. Dallek also does an admirable job in tracking the development of LBJ's character and motives, (and ego) while parsing through, at times, the frenetic activity of his life. Where this biography differs from others, (especially Caro's), is in Dallek's self-restraint in judging LBJ's actions and behaviors, (and there is a lot to judge). Others have made this out to be an omission on the author's part, I would beg to differ and label it as evenhanded. Dallek presents the facts and lets the reader make the call while other authors, (again Caro), have stepped into the breech and passed judgement. (This doesn't mean I disagree with those judgements, in fact in most cases I do agree. It's hard not to.)I just appreciated Dallek allowing me to come to my own conclusions. If there is a fault with this book, (and the second volume), and this is a nit, it's that too much detail is provided and at times can become mind-numbing. In Dallek's subsequent bio of JFK, at least in my opinion, he does a better job of not overwhelming the reader with at times, repetitive details.

5-0 out of 5 stars An incredibly rewarding read
Over the last several years, I've read more than 30 presidential biographies, usually letting Amazon reader's guide me to the best choice.I assure you Robert Dallek's first volume of his LBJ biography is one of the top five or six biographies I've read thus far.This volume provides the details of LBJ's life until he became vice president.Lone Star Rising is well written. Most of all it is balanced presenting numerous sides ofa very complex man. Also included are the anecdotes of LBJ's life that led me to laugh out loud or shake my head with disbelief.

Lilly Tomlin once said, "I try to be as cynical as I can be, but sometimes I just can't keep up. "She could have been talking about Southern politics in general or LBJ in particular. Dallek shows LBJ's warts, but he also describes Johnson's genuine desire to help the poorand the South.

LBJ rose from poverty through a combination of incredible drive, unbelievable moxie, a willingnessto do anything to win, a refusal to admit defeat, and a sense that the world was his stage with all of the characters being actors for him to manipulate, bamboozle, and control. These traits helped LBJ reach the presidency, but they also led to a stubborn refusal to get out of Viet Nam (see volume 2).

I truly wish every president could have a biographer as skilled as Dallek.Finally, I'd like to stress the 1200 or so pages of the two vlumes are worth the effort.While the second volume gets bogged down covering our bogged down war in Viet Nam, I would not have wanted to skip over a page of volume 1

Dallek's two volume work is probably a bit more even handed in dealing with LBJ than some of the biographies of recent years.While it is certainly not a collection of "way to go LBJ" chapters, it does go out of it's way to point out much of the good Johnson accomplished.The book appeared to be well researched and read easily.While I feel that it could have pointed out and examined Johnson's many, many flaws and their underlying source, there are indeed many other works which do so, so another good LBJ bash book was and is not probably needed at this time.I did enjoy this one and am glad I added it to my collection.

3-0 out of 5 stars Presenting the good Lyndon
Dallek's biography has the virtue of being written by someone who clearly admires Johnson.As such, it is somewhat of a counterweight to Robert Caro and I suggest both be read for balance.

Nevertheless, in presenting the "good Lyndon", Dallek downplays the worst of Johnson.There is nothing particularly wrong with this (Dallek certainly doesn't ignore the flaws, just tends to gloss over them a little), but it does lead to a fairly tepid book, one that is nowhere near as much fun to read as Caro's.Thus, if I could only read one (which of course many readers will do considering the length of both Caro's and Dallek's presentations), I would read Caro's.Caro's second and third volumes (covering the 40's and 50's, roughly the second half of the Dallek volume being discussed here) are possibly the best political biography ever written.It is against that "competition" that Dallek's book must be weighed and I found, in the balance, that Dallek's work is merely ordinary.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Landmark LBJ Biography
Dallek's two-volume examination of LBJ is a dramatic and nuanced examination of one the most complex figures in 20th century American history.Even almost three decades after his death, there are no shortage of people who see LBJ as the ultimate villan of American politics.Many people of this camp dislike Dallek's work, because he puts his subject in his context.

While Dallek does not excuse the sort of election fraud in which LBJ engaged, he does explain that it was wide spread.Some find this an unacceptable defense, but one should note that the sorts of tricks he describes have been wide spread in the US for most of the 19th and early 20th century. To dismiss LBJ for engaging in such activities who require similar condemnation of every US president from Adams to FDR.

Dallek in fact, is unflinching in discussing LBJ's negative side.His pension for strong arming opponents, his abuse of his staff, his womanizing and drinking, and his dirty tricks are all layed bare.At the same time, Dallek reviews how crucial LBJ was as part of the New Deal and his brave role as a champion of civil rights.

The other major LBJ biography by Caro is far less balanced in its approach to this complex and ultimately tragic figure.For a truly great and complete biography of LBJ, I suggest that you read this one. ... Read more

8. Johnson's War/Johnson's Great Society: The Guns and Butter Trap
by Jeffrey W. Helsing
Kindle Edition: 296 Pages (2000-08-30)
list price: US$116.00
Asin: B000QXDAQW
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Product Description
Helsing provides a unique perspective on the escalation of the Vietnam War. He examines what many analysts and former policymakers in the Johnson administration have acknowledged as a crucial factor in the way the United States escalated in Vietnam: Johnson's desire for both guns and butter--his belief that he must stem the advance of communism in Southeast Asia while pursuing a Great Society at home. ... Read more

9. LBJ
by Randall Woods
Kindle Edition: 1024 Pages (2007-11-01)
list price: US$35.00
Asin: B001F8G86Q
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
For almost forty years, the verdict on Lyndon Johnson's presidency has been reduced to a handful of harsh words: tragedy, betrayal, lost opportunity. Initially, historians focused on the Vietnam War and how that conflict derailed liberalism, tarnished the nation's reputation, wasted lives, and eventually even led to Watergate. More recently, Johnson has been excoriated in more personal terms: as a player of political hardball, as the product of machine-style corruption, as an opportunist, as a cruel husband and boss.

In LBJ, Randall B. Woods, a distinguished historian of twentieth-century America and a son of Texas, offers a wholesale reappraisal and sweeping, authoritative account of the LBJ who has been lost under this baleful gaze. Woods understands the political landscape of the American South and the differences between personal failings and political principles. Thanks to the release of thousands of hours of LBJ's White House tapes, along with the declassification of tens of thousands of documents and interviews with key aides, Woods's LBJ brings crucial new evidence to bear on many key aspects of the man and the politician. As private conversations reveal, Johnson intentionally exaggerated his stereotype in many interviews, for reasons of both tactics and contempt. It is time to set the record straight.

Woods's Johnson is a flawed but deeply sympathetic character. He was born into a family with a liberal Texas tradition of public service and a strong belief in the public good. He worked tirelessly, but not just for the sake of ambition. His approach to reform at home, and to fighting fascism and communism abroad, was motivated by the same ideals and based on a liberal Christian tradition that is often forgotten today. Vietnam turned into a tragedy, but it was part and parcel of Johnson's commitment to civil rights and antipoverty reforms. LBJ offers a fascinating new history of the political upheavals of the 1960s and a new way to understand the last great burst of liberalism in America.

Johnson was a magnetic character, and his life was filled with fascinating stories and scenes. Through insights gained from interviews with his longtime secretary, his Secret Service detail, and his closest aides and confidants, Woods brings Johnson before us in vivid and unforgettable color. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Time for a reappraisal of LBJ
Excellent reappraisal of LBJ's Presidency. With the furore over health care, LBJ's achievements appear monumental. What JFK gave lip service (and that was about it) to, LBJ delivered (which unfortunately included Vietnam).

For years history treated LBJ cruelly, largely because the history books were being written by RFK (LBJ's bitter rival) acolytes (Schlesinger et al.).

LBJ was a dynamic steamroller of a President. President Obama: please stop channeling JFK (style, no substance) and switch to LBJ arm-twisting tactics.

What can be said of Lyndon Johnson that has not already been said, over and over and over again?I have read, and actually have in my position, all of the major biographies of this complex man and have read and own a great majority of the minor, less known ones as well.While I certainly do not pretend to be an expert on LBJ; the man or the politician, I certainly feel I have gotten a non-historians grasp of his overall character, accomplishments and failures.I was also of course alive and well during a greater part of his career and indeed participated in many of the events during those times.

This is a very readable biography and I was most grateful that the author did not go on chapter after chapter addressing obscure relatives and past family member as so many of LBJ's biographers have.Yes, some were mention, but only to put the historical story in context.This work of course begins with Johnson's boyhood; a rather austere beginning, in Texas and follows his career through to the end.This work is not a critical hatchet job such as we find with Caro's work and others.As a matter of fact, Woods acts as an apologist in most cases; both for his personal life and his political life.He probably goes further in justifying the Presidents eccentric behaviors, political shenanigans, decisions, both good and bad and his overall character more than most, with the exception of his non-family or friend biographers.Wood is most certainly a LBJ fan and this comes through on almost ever page.He does address most of the bad traits of Johnson, but in many cases he does this in an almost off hand way.He also tends to justify some of the decisions this man made during the war, which, with hindsight, we know were simply bad decisions.

Most who are critical of this work fall into several categories.Fist we have those that have noted some errors in the text, i.e. factual errors.This is certainly true, I spotted a few myself and I am not the sharpest crayon in the box.Most of these errors though are of little moment as to the overall validity of the work as a whole.If someone is going to use a "popular" biography as the basis for their Doctorial Thesis, then they are in big time trouble.These errors, for the most part, fall into the category of "who cares" and only those who have a particular axe to grind or are extremely anal retentive will take much note.If a person is so well versed on this particular subject that they can spot these errors, I might suggest skipping over such work and jacking your reading level up a notch.Secondly, there are those that can only see as far as the disastrous war and the errors made by the Johnson Administration.This is a debate that has been going on since the beginning and I suspect will go on for years to come.There are many good works out there addressing this subject, both pro and con; read them if you were not actually there yourself.Thirdly, there are the blatant racists.Few can deny the fact that Johnson did more for race equality than any president in history up to that point.If this was for political expediency or not, is rather a moot point as the end results were the same.Fourthly, there are those who feel his liberalism as to public welfare was no more than an extension of the New Deal.This is probably true and it all boils down to if your leanings are to the left or the right.

What I liked about the book:If you take this work and read it with other works, you get a much better picture of the man and the politician.I enjoyed the political history presented in this work.I am not a LBJ fan, never was and never will be, but this did give me some food for thought.I did like the way that the author did stress that this president did more for the poor and for racial minorities than any previous president (and quite possibly those who followed) and that he simply does not get credit for this.

What I did not like about the book:I felt the author was a bit too easy on Johnson, in particular in his running of the war and his obvious cluelessness as to what was going on at the time.I felt the author was a bit to lenient as to the way LBJ treated his wife and immediate family.Hey, this was not a nice guy in many ways.I would have expected a historian and author of Woods' stature to be a bit more astute in checking his facts.While the errors in this book are minor, in my own opinion, they were never-the-less errors, and they marred the work as a whole.There are such a mass of facts that should have been addressed in more depth that I feel this should have been a work of two large volumes, at least, rather than just one large one.The author should have taken a hint from Caro and Dallek.This work is also very readable and well done.

Now in reading this review, the reader needs to keep in mind where I am coming from.I was a member of the military for over twenty years, most of it during this period and have very strong feelings about the war.Secondly, I was one of those people branded as a "Northern Agitator" in the late 50s and early 60s, i.e. a white boy just stirring up trouble where he did not belong.I felt and still feel very strongly about these issues.I admit that as to the war, and trust me folks, I was there, I had very mixed feelings but overall could not stand the name of LBJ.On the other hand, I admired his stance on civil rights issues tremendously.Now my personal feelings in the happening of those days years ago should not reflect on Woods's work, but the reader should know where I am coming from.

Overall, this is a good read, but for those interested, they should read the vast number of other biographies out there just to get all angles of this mans life in focus.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks

2-0 out of 5 stars Well researched, but biased
If you are considering purchasing this book, you should understand in advance that the author has a strong bias towards LBJ which stands in the way of providing anything resembling a balanced assessment of his subject.In fact, at times the book approaches hagiography.If you believe Johnson was really an out and out idealist who was at times dragged into practicing dirty politics because he had no choice, that all government programs are important and useful as long as they mean well, and that the scandals that tarnished Johnson's political career were all either overblown or out and out fictions made up by his political enemies, the book will suit you well.

4-0 out of 5 stars LBJ is like an onion...
Many,many, many layers.Author Woods sets out to create the ultimate LBJ biography, and partly succeeds.On the plus side, it is obvious that he put a considerable amount of work into looking into both older and fresh research, coming up with new facts or forgotten ones about one of the most complex American presidents.As some of the professional reviews indicated, Woods created a comprehensive set of information.In addition, Woods does not leave LBJ off the hook historically, but is far more balanced in his overall assessment of LBJ as compared to other bios, probably partially as a result of the passage of time as well as author effort.
On the negative side, this weighty book (around 900 pages text) could have used some serious editing.Besides the numerous small factual errors (which state a Senator is from), several paragraphs are simply a mess and should have been cut.Probably could have removed some passages about the Kennedys - this is, after all, a biography of LBJ, and should be focused on his relationship with them.
I found this book informative, but I think I am still waiting for a more definitive LBJ bio to emerge.

5-0 out of 5 stars LBJ and revisionist history
Randall B. Wood's brilliant biography of President Lyndon B. Johnson was ten years in the making, but came out at exactly the right time. As is the case with George W. Bush, Lyndon Johnson's administration was undermined by a war that became deeply unpopular: "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" became a popular chant, and though the sloganeers of the sixties were better than those of today, the sentiment is exactly the same. As Wood shows, the Vietnam war had profound consequences for LBJ's administration, in the same way Iraq is having disastrous consequences for George W. Bush.

There the similarity ends for the two presidents from Texas. LBJ's days were marked by what may be called a "revolution from below." Profound attention was paid to the needs of the poor and blacks in Johnson's Great Society programs. nd in a glaring difference with what is occurring today, the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 really changed the lives of the less well to do, so that far fewer of them went into bankruptcy, as they had in Johnson's growing up years in east Texas. The ush years have been, by contrast, marked by the increasing inaccessibility of the best medicare care to the poor, along with profound pressures on middle-class and poor Americans who just can't afford to pay for private health insurance.The Bush administration has been inclined to ascribe rising medical costs to innovation that allows doctors to do more. But this is only part of the story. The other part is a tendency for Washington to allow the healthcare industry to charge more and more.

What is most fascinating about the Woods biography is the demonstration that Lyndon Johnson was profoundly influenced by his family's embrace of early 20th century progressivism.And it wasn't always easy. his father, deeply in debt, and an alcoholic to boot, stood up against the Ku Klux Klan. He very easily could have been murdered. As a state legislator, Sam Ealy, Jr. always voted against moneyed interests in the state. LBJ's mother, Rebekah, had been a reporter for an Austin newspaper, a prolific reader her entire life, and probably would have felt comfortable with today's social justice Christians. In his early twenties, Johnson spent more than a year teaching and becoming the principal of a small school made up of poor Mexican children. He never forgot them.

The book is not all about doing good. Johnson's womanizing, abusiveness and egoism all come out very clearly, but Woods's complex, 900 page biography carefully and intelligently demonstrates the full measure of Johnson's prolific talent. "He (LBJ) is far ahead of most of the intellectuals--especially those Northern liberals who have beco0me, in the name of the highest motives, the new apologists for segregation," writer Ralph Ellison wrote in a magazine interview i early 1967. "President Johnson's speech at Howard University spelled out the meaning of full integration for Negroes in a way that no one, no President, not Lincoln nor oosevelt, no matter how much we love and respected them, has ever done before." ... Read more

10. Master of the Senate: The Years of LBJ, Vol. III
by Robert A. Caro
Kindle Edition: 1232 Pages (2009-07-22)
list price: US$19.95
Asin: B002IPZBPO
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The most riveting political biography of our time, Robert A. Caro’slife of Lyndon B. Johnson,continues. Master of the Senate takes Johnson’s story through one of its most remarkable periods: his twelve years, from 1949 through 1960, in the United States Senate. Once the most august and revered body in politics, by the time Johnson arrived the Senate had become a parody of itself and an obstacle that for decades had blocked desperately needed liberal legislation. Caro shows how Johnson’s brilliance, charm, and ruthlessness enabled him to become the youngest and most powerful Majority Leader in history and how he used his incomparable legislative genius--seducing both Northern liberals and Southern conservatives--to pass the first Civil Rights legislation since Reconstruction. Brilliantly weaving rich detail into a gripping narrative, Caro gives us both a galvanizing portrait of Johnson himself and a definitive and revelatory study of the workings of legislative power.

From the Trade Paperback edition.Amazon.com Review
Robert Caro's Master of the Senate examines in meticulous detail Lyndon Johnson's career in that body, from his arrival in 1950 (after 12 years in the House of Representatives) until his election as JFK's vice president in 1960. This, the third in a projected four-volume series, studies not only the pragmatic, ruthless, ambitious Johnson, who wielded influence with both consummate skill and "raw, elemental brutality," but also the Senate itself, which Caro describes (pre-1957) as a "cruel joke" and an "impregnable stronghold" against social change. The milestone of Johnson's Senate years was the 1957 Civil Rights Act, whose passage he single-handedly engineered. As important as the bill was--both in and of itself and as a precursor to wider-reaching civil rights legislation--it was only close to Johnson's Southern "anti-civil rights" heart as a means to his dream: the presidency. Caro writes that not only does power corrupt, it "reveals," and that's exactly what this massive, scrupulously researched book does. A model of social, psychological, and political insight, it is not just masterful; it is a masterpiece. --H. O'Billovich ... Read more

Customer Reviews (150)

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Amazing
I'm not normally an enthusiast of biographies.But somewhere along the way I heard about this book and how excellent it was so I gave it a shot - and am so glad I did.The book reads like a novel as I literally could not wait to turn the page.But not only was the book fascinating, it was educational.I learned a tremendous amount about people whose name I've heard but never really knew much about, a different side of the fight for civil rights, and a riveting description (although at many points disturbing) of our nation's view on social issues and politics over a period of time.But most of all, I felt as though the author truly understood the psyche of the people described in the book - whether it be Johnson, Russell, Rayburn, Humphrey, etc... and brought it to life. Truly a must read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great
Sent it to me really quickly! I was pleased with the quality and all that stuff

5-0 out of 5 stars masterful
I am old enough to remember the Johnson presidency, and having lived through Vietnam, I never had a lot of interest in the man.He just seemed consumed by the war and his War on Poverty program, but after reading this biography, I must say that LBJ was during the Senate years one of the most brillian politicians this country has ever seen.
Caro covers it all.It is especially interesting to note how much influence Richard Russell and the Southern bloc had over the Senate and how these die hard Dixie boys continued to foil the civil rights of black Americans even when those rights were guaranteed in the Constitution.
Johnson walked a tightrope, realizing he could not alienate the South but had to be accepted by the North and liberals if he ever thought he might be president.
He could be brutal (as in the ambush of Leland Olds) charming, dictatorial, commanding, rude and crude but he knew how to get what he wanted and pursued it like a demon.
If anything, Kennedy's Senate years are meek compared to this man.
I will say that Caro is as good a biographer as Johnson was a senator. I can pay no higher compliment.

4-0 out of 5 stars Study of Power
Caro turns a dry subject into gripping drama. Other reviewers correctly point out that the book should have been cut by about 200 pages.I would rather have this invaluable book too long than too short, however.We all benefit from Caro's lifelong work and devotion to his subject.

3-0 out of 5 stars Master of the Senate-Audio book
The abridgement was too severe and the reader was a New York actor who thought he could do a southern accent.
I prefer direct announcer delivery.
Delivery from vendor was very good.
Cal ... Read more


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