Building the Great Society: Inside Lyndon Johnson's White House

Building the Great Society: Inside Lyndon Johnson's White House

by Joshua Zeitz


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Building the Great Society: Inside Lyndon Johnson's White House by Joshua Zeitz

An "absorbing, and astoundingly well-researched" ( book that takes us inside Lyndon Johnson's White House to show how the legendary Great Society programs were actually put into practice: Team of Rivals for LBJ. The personalities behind every burst of 1960s liberal reform - from civil rights and immigration reform, to Medicare and Head Start.

LBJ's towering political skills and his ambitious slate of liberal legislation are the stuff of legend: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, and environmental reform. But what happened after the bills passed? One man could not and did not go it alone. Joshua Zeitz reanimates the creative and contentious atmosphere inside Johnson's White House as a talented and energetic group of advisers made LBJ's vision a reality. They desegregated public and private institutions throughout one third of the United States; built Medicare and Medicaid from the ground up in one year; launched federal funding for public education; provided food support for millions of poor children and adults; and launched public television and radio, all in the space of five years, even as Vietnam strained the administration's credibility and budget.

Bill Moyers, Jack Valenti, Joe Califano, Harry McPherson and the other staff members who comprised LBJ's inner circle were men as pragmatic and ambitious as Johnson, equally skilled in the art of accumulating power or throwing a sharp elbow. Building the Great Society is the story of how one of the most competent White House staffs in American history - serving one of the most complicated presidents ever to occupy the Oval Office - fundamentally changed everyday life for millions of citizens and forged a legacy of compassionate and interventionist government.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525428787
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/30/2018
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 137,851
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Joshua Zeitz has taught American history and politics at Cambridge University, Harvard University, and Princeton University. He is the author of several books on American political and social history and has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, New Republic, The Atlantic, Dissent, and American Heritage. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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Chapter 1

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Copyright © 2019 Joshua Zeitz.
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Put the Ball Through the Hoop 11

Chapter 2 Participation in Prosperity 39

Chapter 3 Second Day 58

Chapter 4 Revolutionary Activity 76

Chapter 5 Frontlash 94

Chapter 6 A Frustrating Paradox 121

Chapter 7 Completing the Fair Deal 144

Chapter 8 Get 'Em! Get the Last Ones! 164

Chapter 9 The Fabulous Eighty-Ninth 184

Chapter 10 Guns and Butter 209

Chapter 11 Backlash 236

Chapter 12 You Aren't a Man in Your Own Right 265

Chapter 13 The Thirty-first of March 283

Conclusion 306

Acknowledgments 321

Notes 323

Bibliography 353

Index 363

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