Lyndon B. Johnson: The Exercise of Power

By Rowland Evans; Robert Novak | Go to book overview

Chapter XVIII CHIEF DIPLOMAT

My plane has landed in many continents, touched down in more than thirty countries in the last three years. The wheels have never stopped and the door has never opened and I have never looked upon any faces that I didn't think would like to trade citizenship with me.

-- PresidentLyndon B. Johnson, February 11, 1964

When President Charles de Gaulle of France surprised the world by announcing that he would fly to Washington for the funeral of John F. Kennedy on November 25, 1963, the new President of the United States glimpsed a rare opportunity to mend his nation's tattered relations with its oldest ally. Four months before the assassination, Franco-American relations had dropped to their lowest point in a century and a half. Personal relations between Kennedy and de Gaulle had become cool since their inconclusive though cordial meeting in Paris in June, 1961.

More and more, the French leader emphasized the depth of his opposition to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as an instrument to insure American domination of the European continent. He had challenged not only London but also Washington in blocking the British from joining the European Economic Community (Common Market). And then, on August 4, 1963, diplomatic civility itself was strained almost to the breaking point between Kennedy and de Gaulle when the French President rejected the test-ban treaty signed by the other three nuclear powers--the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain--together with most of the non-nuclear powers.

De Gaulle viewed the treaty as a violation of French sovereignty. His intransigence doomed Kennedy's plans to make the treaty the basic international tool for halting worldwide proliferation of nuclear weapons.* Laying aside his customary caution in public statements

____________________
*
Communist China, soon to become the fifth member of the nuclear club, rejected the treaty too.

-383-

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Lyndon B. Johnson: The Exercise of Power
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Chapter I - The President 1
  • Chapter II - The Road to the Senate 5
  • Chapter III - Freshman Senator 26
  • Chapter IV - The Leader 50
  • Chapter V - Lbj's Balancing Act 71
  • Chapter VI - The Johnson System 88
  • Chapter VII - The Miracle of '57 119
  • Chapter VIII - The Legislator 141
  • Chapter IX - Lbj Vs. Ike 168
  • Chapter X - Too Many Democrats 195
  • Chapter XI - Love That Lyndon 225
  • Chapter XII - Comedy of Errors 243
  • Chapter XIII - Defeat-- and Emancipation 268
  • Chapter XIV - Campaigning for Kennedy 289
  • Chapter XV - The Vice- President 305
  • Chapter XVI - Let Us Continue 335
  • Chapter XVII - Taming the Congress 360
  • Chapter XVIII - Chief Diplomat 383
  • Chapter XIX - The Great Society 407
  • Chapter XX - Picking a Vice-President 435
  • Chapter XXI - In Search of a Record 464
  • Chapter XXII - Stockpiling Adversity 484
  • Chapter XXIII - The Dominican Intervention 510
  • Chapter XXIV - Vietnam 530
  • Chapter XXV - Adversity 557
  • Source Notes 575
  • Index 578
  • About the Authors 598
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