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The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson

The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson

The White House Years

From Lyndon Johnson’s closest domestic adviser during the White House years comes a book in which “Johnson leaps out of the pages in all his raw and earthy glory” (The New York Times Book Review) that’s been called “a joy to read” (Stephen Ambrose, The Washington Post Book World). And now, a new introductory essay brings the reader up to date on Johnson’s impact on America today.

Califano takes us into the Oval Office as the decisions that irrevocably changed the United States were being crafted to create Johnson’s ambitious Great Society. He shows us LBJ’s commitment to economic and social revolution, and his willingness to do whatever it took to achieve his goals. Califano uncorks LBJ’s legislative genius and reveals the political guile it took to pass the laws in civil rights, poverty, immigration reform, health, education, environmental protection, consumer protection, the arts, and communications.

President Lyndon Johnson was bigger than life—and no one who worked for him or was subjected to the “Johnson treatment” ever forgot it. As Johnson’s “Deputy President of Domestic Affairs” (The New York Times), Joseph A. Califano’s unique relationship with the president greatly enriches our understanding of our thirty-sixth president, whose historical significance continues to be felt throughout every corner of America to this day.

A no-holds-barred account of Johnson’s presidency, The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson is an intimate portrait of a President whose towering ambition for his country and himself reshaped America—and ultimately led to his decision to withdraw from the political arena in which he fought so hard.
Choose a format:
  • Touchstone | 
  • 448 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476794761 | 
  • February 2015
List Price $30.00
Ships on or around February 3, 2015

Read an Excerpt

The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson ONE The Beginning
THE FIRST CALL came on November 4, 1964. I was working as Special Assistant to Robert McNamara. My office at the Pentagon was directly across the hall from his. That morning The Washington Post and New York Times were on my desk, their headlines proclaiming Lyndon Johnson’s landslide over Barry Goldwater, 61 to 39 percent.

McGeorge Bundy, the President’s National Security Adviser, rasped cheerily over the phone: “Califano! Can you get over here and... see more

About the Author

Joseph A. Califano Jr.
Eric Weiss Photography

Joseph A. Califano Jr.

Joseph A. Califano, Jr., served as Lyndon Johnson’s top White House domestic policy aide and as US Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. He is Founder of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA). He has written several books. He lives in Westport, Connecticut.

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