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A Companion to Lyndon B. Johnson

ISBN: 978-1-4443-3389-3
616 pages
February 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Lyndon B. Johnson (1444333895) cover image


This companion offers an overview of Lyndon B. Johnson's life, presidency, and legacy, as well as a detailed look at the central arguments and scholarly debates from his term in office.

  • Explores the legacy of Johnson and the historical significance of his years as president
  • Covers the full range of topics, from the social and civil rights reforms of the Great Society to the increased American involvement in Vietnam
  • Incorporates the dramatic new evidence that has come to light through the release of around 8,000 phone conversations and meetings that Johnson secretly recorded as President
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors viii

Introduction 1
Mitchell B. Lerner

Part I Pre-Presidential Years 5

1 The Changing South 7
Jeff Woods

2 LBJ in the House and Senate 23
Donald A. Ritchie

3 The Vice Presidency 38
Marc J. Selverstone

Part II Lyndon B. Johnson’s White House 57

4 Lady Bird Johnson 59
Lisa M. Burns

5 Management and Vision 76
Sean J. Savage

Part III Domestic Policy 91

6 The War on Poverty 93
Edward R. Schmitt

7 African-American Civil Rights 111
Kent B. Germany

8 Mexican Americans 132
Lorena Oropeza

9 Women’s Issues 149
Susan M. Hartmann

10 Health Care 163
Larry DeWitt and Edward D. Berkowitz

11 Environmental Policy 187
Martin V. Melosi

12 American Immigration Policy 210
Donna R. Gabaccia and Maddalena Marinari

13 LBJ and the Constitution 228
Robert David Johnson

14 The Urban Crisis 245
David Steigerwald

15 Education Reform 263
Lawrence J. McAndrews

16 Domestic Insurgencies 278
Doug Rossinow

17 LBJ and the Conservative Movement 295
Jeff Roche

Part IV: Vietnam 319

18 Decisions for War 321
Andrew Preston

19 Fighting the Vietnam War 336
Robert D. Schulzinger

20 The War at Home 350
Mary Ann Wynkoop

21 The War from the Other Side 367
Pierre Asselin

Part V Beyond Vietnam 385

22 Latin America 387
Alan McPherson

23 Europe 406
Thomas Alan Schwartz

24 LBJ and the Cold War 420
John Dumbrell

25 The Middle East 439
Peter L. Hahn

26 LBJ and the New Global Challenges 450
Mark Atwood Lawrence

Part VI Final Reckonings 467

27 How Great was the Great Society? 469
Sidney M. Milkis

28 Lyndon B. Johnson and the World 487
Nicholas Evan Sarantakes

29 The Legacy of Lyndon B. Johnson 504
Andrew L. Johns

Bibliography 521

Index 583

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Author Information

Mitchell B. Lerner is Associate Professor of History at the Ohio State University and the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. He has held the Mary Ball Washington Distinguished Fulbright Chair at University College-Dublin, and been an officer of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. He is also Director of Ohio State's Institute for Korea Studies. He is the author of The Pueblo Incident: A Spy Ship and the Failure of American Foreign Policy (2002), which won the John Lyman Book Award, and editor of Looking Back at LBJ (2005).
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"This volume of essays is a superb contribution to the growing body of scholarship on LBJ and his presidency. Lerner, himself one of the country’s leading experts on Johnson, has assembled a first-rate cast of contributors." – Randall B. Woods, author, LBJ: Architect of American Ambition

"For all serious scholars and students of Lyndon Johnson—and given the long-term consequences of Vietnam, the Great Society, and the 1960s broadly, aren’t we all?—Lerner’s compilation is a must-read to truly understand the man and his era." - Jeffrey A. Engel, Kruse ’52 Founders Professor, Texas A&M University

"The one-stop source for the latest historiography on the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson.  Lerner has assembled a collection of gems by the leading historians of U.S. domestic and foreign policy during the Johnson era." – Frank Costigliola, University of Connecticut
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