The Kennedy Assassination--24 Hours After: Lyndon B. Johnson's Pivotal First Day as President [NOOK Book]

Overview

Riding in an open-topped convertible through Dallas on November 22, 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson heard a sudden explosive sound at 12:30 PM. The Secret Service sped him away to safety, but not until 1:20 PM did he learn that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Sworn in next to a bloodstained Jackie Kennedy at 2:40 PM, Johnson worked feverishly until 3:00 in the morning, agonizing about the future of both his nation and his party. Unbeknownst to him, his actions had already ...
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The Kennedy Assassination--24 Hours After: Lyndon B. Johnson's Pivotal First Day as President

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Overview

Riding in an open-topped convertible through Dallas on November 22, 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson heard a sudden explosive sound at 12:30 PM. The Secret Service sped him away to safety, but not until 1:20 PM did he learn that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Sworn in next to a bloodstained Jackie Kennedy at 2:40 PM, Johnson worked feverishly until 3:00 in the morning, agonizing about the future of both his nation and his party. Unbeknownst to him, his actions had already determined the tragic outcome of his presidency.

In November 22, 1963, historian Steven Gillon tells the story of how Johnson consolidated power in the twenty-four hours following the assassination. Based on scrupulous research and new archival sources, this gripping narrative sheds new and surprising light on one of the most written-about events of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this fresh take on John F. Kennedy's assassination, history professor Gillon probes the chaos that surrounded Vice President Johnson's ascension to power as he coped with both the trauma of Kennedy's murder and the enmity of Kennedy's inner circle. At Parkland Hospital in Dallas, a battle of wills between Johnson and JFK's inner circle-including appointments secretary Kenneth O'Donnell and military aide Brigadier General Godfrey McHugh-contributed to the confusion then (and now) over the timeline of Kennedy's death and Johnson's assuming the presidency. Leading the anti-Johnson contingent was the president's brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who tussled with LBJ over the swearing-in details (both disagreed bitterly about the episode afterwards). Johnson faltered as he moved into the spotlight, trying in vain to adopt Camelot as his own by trying (unsuccessfully) to console Jackie and persuading (with varying degrees of success) Kennedy staffers to stay on. Gillon captures the two faces of Johnson-the insecure second-guesser and the brilliant politician-as well as the earliest signs of the Johnson presidency's eventual failure.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
The hours following JFK's assassination were a time of confusion, sadness, and fear, which Gillon (resident historian, History Channel) vividly describes in this companion book to a History Channel documentary airing this month. The author relies on both standard secondary sources and newly declassified documents to show that the Johnson era, with its Great Society triumphs and Vietnam failure, mirrored LBJ's combination of actions on that first harrowing day. Gillon credits LBJ for his calming leadership demonstrated through skilled use of television and for his sympathetic kindness toward the now-widowed Jacqueline Kennedy, but he also shows how Johnson's self-destructive insecurity, inflamed by Robert Kennedy's contempt for him, also manifested itself. Included is an intriguing discussion of the vulnerability of the United States during the 40 minutes between JFK's death and Johnson's learning of it. VERDICT This fast-paced book will appeal to general readers and historians who will likely have different opinions about how the first day following JFK's death set the course for the Johnson years. See Max Holland's The Kennedy Assassination Tapes for first-person transcripts of much of what's covered here.—Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465019991
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 368,898
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Steven M. Gillon earned his PhD at Brown University, and taught for several years at Yale University and then at Oxford. He is currently a professor of history at the University of Oklahoma and the resident historian for The History Channel. He is the author of numerous books and articles on modern American history and politics, including Ten Days that Unexpectedly Changed America. He lives in New York and Oklahoma.
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 8, 2010

    FANTASTIC

    I have read a number of books over the years concerning John F. Kennedy and his family. Several have dealt with the topic of his assasination and ideas as to what really took place that sad day. This book was one that I could not put down. It was well written, giving many details in perspective as to what was taking place that day and during this time period in our histoday. The author, Steven M. Gillon was able to bring everything together that the book was very hard to put down. The book was fast paced, yet it tied a number of details both before and after the assination that allowed the reader to have a better understanding of what was taking place in the United States and the world at that time. Anyone with a interest in the history of our country and how we got to where we are today, will enjoy this book. A must read to really understand what took place.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2010

    Overall, a decent read.

    I found this book to be informative, but a bit prolonged in some areas. There seems to be, at times, too much emphasis on little areas, such as who told who what. It gets confusing, but recovers and gets back on the main topic of Lyndon Johnson and his handling of that day. It was full of stuff I had already known, but detailed the personal aspects of the Kennedy assassination in a perfect way.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Johnson: Survivor Guilt?

    The author manages to forge a new trail in the never-ending, literary preoccupation with JFK, his presidency and assassination. He sorts out the myriad of human emotions motivating all the players among the two political camps of Kennedy and Johnson who all experienced extreme shock, disbelief, despair, wincing anger, guilt and frustration on that tragic day. Johnson comes out fairly well as a compassionate, take-charge leader who is equally concerned with the needs of the country and the sensitivities of the Kennedy family when the presidency is violently thrust upon him. No one can be faulted for their unscripted actions in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. Nothing Johnson did or didn't do would have satisfied the bereft Kennedy inner-sanctum, particularly his arch-nemesis Bobby. Thought-provoking and engaging read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Nothing new here

    I was very dissapointed with this book. There is really very little new here.....Uninteresting discussion of the time of JFK's (10 minutes one way or the other) and a general defense of LBJ's behavior. It does little good to speculate on the vulnerability of the US during those dark days..it really didn't matter as nothing happened on the international front. Note to Mr. Gillon: Let your readers decide if one of your so called revalations is explosive we don't need to be constantly reminded that you think they are. If you want to understand the JFK assassination read Bugliosi, Russo, Posner and of course Manchester to get a good perspective on a seminal event in many of our lives. Don't waste your time/money with this over-hyped rehash!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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