Readings on Johnson and the Great Society
December 17, 2013 5:12 PM   Subscribe

Looking for books/long articles about Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society- the history, the political effort, the hits and the flops.

Nothing too esoteric, please! Hoping there's a really engaging book or two out there on this topic.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero to Education (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Read Nixonland by Rick Pearlstein. It has some good parts on Johnson and the Great Society scheme.

Also read Myron Magnet to see criticisms of the Great Society. His book is called The Dream and the Power or something like that.

If you can, read anything you can by Robert Caro on Johnson. Although Caro's biography hasn't reached yet to the Great Society years, he does touch on some elements of it in his writings on Johnson.
posted by RapcityinBlue at 6:01 PM on December 17, 2013


Long ago, PBS did a terrific documentary on Johnson. While the Great Society legislation is only a part of the documentary, it's so well done that you'll watch the whole thing.

From this link, you can watch the documentary on line, and it also provides links to further reading, etc. Following that link, you'll also find primary resources, such as transcripts of his speeches, etc. Yay Public Broadcasting System!
posted by janey47 at 6:09 PM on December 17, 2013


Nixonland, is, of course, largely about Nixon, but it is also incredibly amazing so I will definitely second it.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:28 PM on December 19, 2013


I love the Bedford "Brief History of X with Documents" series ("really engaging" nicely captures what they do in a short format) so while I haven't read this one, I'll recommend it as at least worth looking into: Lyndon B. Johnson and American Liberalism: A Brief Biography with Documents.

Taking advantage of newly released evidence, this second edition incorporates a selection of fresh documents, including transcripts of Johnson's phone conversations and conservative reactions to his leadership, to examine the issues and controversies that grew out of Johnson's presidency and have renewed importance today. The voices of Johnson, his aides, his opponents, and his interpreters address the topics of affirmative action, the United States' role in world affairs, civil rights, Vietnam, the Great Society, and the fate of liberal reform.
posted by mediareport at 5:09 PM on December 28, 2013


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