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Lyndon B. Johnson: Portrait of a President
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2009
LBJ's presidency should be remembered for the Civil Rights act and various other reforming pieces of legislation - sadly, its mostly remembered for "Hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today" due to the Vietnam War. Dallek presents the man as he was, of great aspirational attributes and terrible character flaws. Excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2012
I read this book while recovering fro major stomach surgery in Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. It proved a good choice. Robert Dallek writes concisely and doesn't waste words. He traces LBJ's rise up the political ladder in Texas to Washington and his elevation to Senate Majority Leader. His failed bid for the Democratic Party nomination for President in 1960 is explained as were his reasons for accepting Jack Kennedy's offer of the vice-presidential job.

Johnson's assumption of the presidency in November 1963 and his subsequent success in getting passed many of the Kennedy policies then stuck in the Washington system showed him at his beat, as did his involvement in the Vietnam War show his lack of insight into international politics.

A fascinating book about an amazing man.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2011
This fine book by Dallek is a 'distillation' of his earlier two books, 'Lone Star Rising' and 'Flawed Giant'.
This volume offers the reader a more 'stream-lined' biography of the incredible LBJ and yet still provides a remarkably good over-view of one of America's most dynamic and complex politicians.

The chapters are presented chronologically and are subdivided into some of the more important phases of Johnson's political life.
Dallek covers it all; from LBJ's early years, his mentors and inspirations, all the way up to the events in Dallas.
From there, the author chronicles his subject as he uses his skill to enact so much of the Kennedy legislation that hadn't yet passed into law.

Dallek follows LBJ into '64 and shows that the Texan had moved out from beneath JFK's shadow and was seen and accepted by the electorate as 'his own man'.

The tragedy of Vietnam looms ever larger as the sixties become the seventies and Johnson's goal of the 'Great Society' had been lost in the jungles of South-East Asia.

This is an excellent book about an amazing man.

Barry
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2011
It's easy to relate LBJ with the Vietnam war and his succession to power after
Kennedy's assasination. What about "The Great Society", "Civil Rights" and
"Welfare Reforms", that make USA today, not perfect, but still driven by the
"Dynamo" that was Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Robert Dallak tells it as it was, warts and all, in his usual addictive style.
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on 5 December 2012
I did not know much about LBJ other than the obvious. This is a good read, but v long. Have not quite finished but enjoying so far
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on 15 February 2015
A scaled down version, if I hd known that I would not have bought it.
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0 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2013
Totally and brusquely dismisses considerable background material connecting LBJ to JFK assassination as not credible thereby making this book not credible.
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