Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1908-1960

By Robert Dallek | Go to book overview

The Making of a
Congressman

THE National Youth Administration expressed the concern of Roosevelt's New Deal to save a generation of young people from ignorance, unemployment, and enduring hardship. When FDR took office in 1933, between a quarter and a third of America's thirteen million unemployed were sixteen to twenty-five years old. During the next two years the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration made special efforts to employ young people or help them stay in school long enough to develop marketable skills. But these were limited efforts with small impact. By the spring of 1935, 20 percent of the nations twenty-two million youngsters remained out of school and either on relief or wandering the country looking for work. "Most of those on the road nowadays are young men," a railroad policeman said, "just young fellows, just boys who don't know where they are going, or why."1

Some people in the Roosevelt administration urged a special effort to help the young. In May 1934, Eleanor Roosevelt declared, "I have moments of real terror when I think we may be losing this generation. We have got to bring these young people into the active life of the community and make them feel they are necessary." But how? Some like Wilson's former Secretary of War Newton D. Baker thought young people with "initiative and spirit" could find work. But the First Lady wasn't persuaded: "If you have any convincing suggestions as to how to stimulate the imagination of young people and how to direct their energies, I shall be more than grateful," she wrote Baker. "My mail is filled with pleas for help."5

The President himself was reluctant to single out young Americans for special help. Early in 1935 he told Eleanor that the problem of the

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Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1908-1960
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents xiii
  • Introduction LBJ in History 3
  • Part One - The Making of a Politician 1908-1937 11
  • 1 - The Heritage 13
  • 2 - Childhood 31
  • 3 - Student and Teacher 62
  • 4 - Kleberg's Secretary 93
  • 5 - The Making of a Congressman 125
  • Part Two - The Congressman 1937-1948 157
  • 6 - The New Dealer 159
  • 7 - National Politics 185
  • 8 - Politics, Patriotism, and Personal Gain 225
  • 9 - The Liberal as Conservative 268
  • 10 - Texas Elects a Senator 298
  • Part Three - The Senator 1949-1954 349
  • 11 - The Best Possible Senator for . . . Texas 351
  • 12 - For Country, Party, and Self 392
  • 13 - Bipartisan Politics 426
  • Part Four - The Majority Leader 1955-1960 465
  • 14 - The Making of a Majority Leader 467
  • 15 - The Liberal Nationalist 509
  • 16 - The Making of a Vice President 544
  • Sources 593
  • Abbreviations in the Notes 611
  • Notes 613
  • Index 701
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