As for trips abroad, this was a ceremonial given of the Vice President's office, but Kennedy also saw them as an outlet for Johnson's restless energy. Once again, the authordisplays extraordinary diligence in thorough research and balancedpresentation. Unfortunately, readers familiar with the war — but not its politics — will find little familiar ground here. The spine may show signs of wear. Vice President, is there anything else I can do for you? After eleven years in the House, where he established himself as a supremely effective congressman with powerful White House ties, he defeated, by fair means and foul, one of the most popular governors in Texas history for a U. At diplomacy, Johnson often seemed like a loud, brash American, yet successful trips to Southeast Asia and Africa as vice president prove his occasional adroitness in this area. We see Johnson as the visionary leader who worked his will on Congress like no president before or since, enacting a range of crucial legislation, from Medicare, Clean Air and Water Acts, the establishment of the National Endowments for the Arts and for the Humanities, and Public Broadcasting to the most significant advances in civil rights for black Americans ever achieved.
We see his political genius as he manipulated the Senate into one progressive measure after the other - whether they liked it or not - just because it was the right thing to do. In these pages Johnson emerges as a character of almost Shakespearean dimensions, a man riddled with contradictions, a man of intensity and anguished insecurity, of grandiose ambition and grave self-doubt, a man who was brilliant, crude, intimidating, compassionate, overbearing and driven, described as A tornado in pants. When he returned to the United States, Johnson told black civil rights leader Roy Wilkins that Senegalese mothers, into whose eyes he looked, were just like Texas mothers; all of them wanted the best for their children. A lesson in primer politics from the Master. And we see for the first time the depth of Johnson's private anguish as he became increasingly ensnared in Vietnam, a war he did not want to expand and which destroyed his hopes for The Great Society and a second term. His look of pleasure at the friendly reception masked the mixed feelings he had had since accepting John F.
It is thus an easy book to read, and frequently compelling. We see Johnson as the visionary leader who worked his will on Congress like no president before or since, enacting a range of crucial legislation, from Medicare, environmental protection, and the establishment of the National Endowment of the Arts and Humanities to the most significant advances in civil rights for black Americans ever achieved. Johnson carried a letter from Kennedy promising more military advisers and aid which would allow Diem to increase the size of his forces. C 1998 Robert Dallek All rights reserved. Dallek has created, in this volume, a minutely detailed portrait ofJohnson as a contradictory and larger-than-life figure, a Shakespeareancharacter: needy, driven, devious, magnanimous and explosive. His writing has appeared in the The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and Vanity Fair. Robert Dalleck is the author of Flawed Giant: Lyndon B.
It is easy to read and criticizes when due as well as complements this interesting man. Stopping repeatedly to shake hands with the people lining the curbs, he was greeted with unmistakable enthusiasm. He weaves an enormous amount of detailed information into tightly focused chapters, concluding each with a few crisp, terse paragraphs of summary judgment. He was Lincoln-like in his humor, his yarns, his frontier similes. He was the best I ever saw. But these gifts were often misdirected.
. Dallek takes us through Johnson's tumultuous years in the White House, his unprecedented accomplishments there, and the tragic war that would be his downfall. The most revealing part is the recital of how Johnson felt forced to back into the war, and to try to do it almost surreptitiously. In accepting the vice-presidential nomination, he had high hopes of transforming the office. Yet in turning aside Lyndon's reach for power, Kennedy did not want to alienate him and destroy his usefulness to the administration. I'll be eagerly awaiting Caro's take on this same era, whenever it comes out.
He also got the first African American Supreme court justice appointed to the court cementing his place as a civil rights President. There is none of that Oliver Stone crap about being a tool of the military-industrial complex. Back at the ambassador's residence he kept the household up most of the night sending and receiving cables and irritating the ambassador's wife, who clattered up and down the stairs in a long robe and slippers bringing refreshments on a great silver tray. He was incredibly egotistical, often had a very frail ego, and could be incredibly petty and horribly manipulative. Flawed Giant captures in unforgiving detail a president whose flaws were tragically larger than life.
The trip was a microcosm of Johnson's career: a grandiose, temperamental man doing outlandish things simultaneously to get attention and improve the lot of the poor. From the Back Cover: Dallek takes us through Johnson's tumultuous years in the White House, his unprecedented accomplishments there, and the tragic war that would be his downfall. Kennedy's proposal to become his running mate. Flawed Giant is far from ordinary biography. In Johnson's case, nature and nurture surely played their parts. Yet here, I ended up getting bored silly by Dallek's bland recitation of the ups and downs of Vietnam, which you think would be interesting stuff.
He resented the President's unwillingness to rely on his legislative expertise, telling people that his knowledge and contacts on the Hill were not being used. Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Mr Dallek's writing is fluid and memorable and the key events of Johnson's presidency - such as his fateful response to the Tonkin Bay incident or his tireless efforts to get the Civil Rights Act passed through a largely hostile Congress - reveal the man and his travails in a fantastic perspective. Once again, we are treated to a chronicle of Johnson's legislative prowess in getting his Great Society bills passed. We see Johnson as the visionary leader who worked his will on Congress like no president before or since, enacting a range of crucial legislation, from Medicare, environmentalprotection, and the establishment of the National Endowment of the Arts and Humanities to the most significant advances in civil rights for black Americans ever achieved. Exhaustively researched and gracefully written,Flawed Giantreveals both the greatness and the tangled complexities of one of the most extravagant characters ever to step onto the presidential stage.