Lyndon Johnson had the misfortune of following the handsome, martyred John F. Kennedy into the White House and then miring his country in
Vietnam. Driven, compulsive, occasionally crude, he was an easy target for his many critics.
He also was the architect of a lasting economic and social revolution, pushing through Medicare, the Voting Rights Act, and other reforms as part of an ambitious Great Society agenda that reached high tide 50 years ago. Joseph A. Califano Jr., Johnson’s chief aide for domestic affairs from 1965-69 and later Secretary of Health Education and Welfare in the Carter administration, delivers an inside look at our 36th president in a discussion of his book The Triumph & Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years. The New York Times Book Review says “Johnson leaps out of the pages in all his raw and earthy glory,” while The Washington Post calls it “a joy to read [and] of what anecdotes.”