Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1961-1973

By Robert Dallek | Go to book overview

Afterword

A long biography deserves a short afterword. Besides, I see little to add to the detailed descriptions and efforts at explanation of Lyndon Johnson's behavior. It may be, as Russell Baker said, that Johnson was "a human puzzle so complicated that nobody could ever understand it." But I think my two volumes bring us closer to some explanation of what drove this outsized man. Like the climber who ascends the mountain because it is there, knowing Johnson better can simply satisfy our curiosity. But his substantial impact on all our lives has made searching out his motives all the more compelling.

It may be that future biographers will have superior methods for deciphering a man of such uncommon ambition, capacity, and energy. But whether they do or not, it is difficult to believe that they will ever fully agree on how to assess this larger-than-life figure. There were enough surprises in what he did to rule out uncontested explanations of his actions. Johnson was one of those great success stories posing the question: Did he reach such great heights and ultimately fall so far because of or despite his inner demons?

More in order are a final few words about Johnson's antipoverty crusade, Great Society, and war in Vietnam. More than thirty years after LBJ's great assault on domestic problems, it is possible to make assessments of the many programs he put in place to change race relations, ease the suffering of underprivileged Americans, and improve the national quality of life. As the text of the book makes clear, Johnson had his hits and misses. Civil rights and voting rights corrected long-standing wrongs and opened the way to the rise of a larger, more affluent black middle class. Affirmative action, however, as developments in the late 1990s make clear, proved to be a disappointing method for solving racial tensions. Likewise, Medicare, Medicaid, urban renewal, aid to education, immigration reform, and safety and consumer regulations have their defenders and detractors.

Debates about the sort of social engineering Johnson sponsored will not disappear. Nevertheless, there is at least one side of Johnson's reformism that the great majority of Americans have embraced and seem unlikely to abandon for the foreseeable future. There is a striking analogy here between Johnson and FDR. Roosevelt's New Deal

-624-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1961-1973
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - The Most Insignificant Office 3
  • 2 - From JFK to Lbj 54
  • 3 - Landslide Lyndon 122
  • 4 - King of the Hill 185
  • 5 - Foreign Policy Dilemmas 238
  • 6 - Retreat from the Great Society 293
  • 7 - Lyndon Johnson's War, 340
  • 8 - A Sea of Troubles 391
  • 9 - Stalemate 443
  • 10 - Last Hurrahs 494
  • 11 - Unfinished Business 550
  • 12 - After the Fall 601
  • Afterword 624
  • Sources 629
  • Abbreviations Used in Notes 645
  • Notes 647
  • Index 737
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 756

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.