Comments: 7
6 years ago
I have been working my way through the multi volume Robert Caro biography of LBJ. I've been reading(listening to) it piece-meal and in no particular order over the last couple of years. There is a lot of repetition in it from volume to volume, so that each volume can also stand alone. Nonethelss, I must admit that as much as I find the man despicable, I am drawn to the story like a moth to a flame. BTW, I don't think the man had a passion for social justice; I think that he saw supporting it as a means to an end--and that end being the Presidency of the United States. Sorry you gave up on it but maybe you will return to it at a later date.
BrokenTune 6 years ago
Yeah, I noticed you were reading the Caro biography, which is something I could not even contemplate to attempt. I did not mean to say that LBJ actually had a passion for social justice, but that the authors (Unger & Unger) seem to want to portray him like this. Like I said, it could be interesting to continue reading and see how they woulde try to reconcile this idea that he might have been motivated by a drive for social justice with his actions as a politician. I'm not convinced of the premise, to say the least.

I haven't really given up, it is just that right now, I would rather read about other things. I might come back to it at some point.
bookaneer 6 years ago
Hm. I don't associate him with social justice... do they provide any evidence at all, or is it Good Guy Circular Reasoning? (Because he was a Good Guy, he must have espoused the right causes, and because he espoused the right causes, he must be a Good Guy)
6 years ago
LBJ was responsible for Medicare,Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, War on Poverty, Great Society, the first black member of the Cabinet and first black Supreme Court Justice -- just to name a few.
bookaneer 6 years ago
And now I want to read a bio of him. Somehow while I think of these events happening under him, other than War on Poverty and Great Society, I don't associate with him. But those also aren't the first things that occur to me when I think LBJ, I think of a man who used the n-word but bent with the times, much as WIlson did with suffrage. I think Vietnam escalations, institutionalization of Parker-style policing, the Watts riots, use of the FBI and CIA to infiltrate antiwar groups...
Wow, I think either my childhood textbooks or my recent reading really didn't like LBJ.
But now I'm interested in a bio of him. It would be interesting to try to disentangle the juggernaut of the times (wrt civil rights) from the president.
I definitely want to read the Caro trilogy on LBJ some day, but totally know what you mean when it comes to the point in a book when you realize that you're just not up for the sheer volume of content. However, may I recommend "Indomitable Will"? If you're into audiobooks, it's an especially good listen, since they include the actual audio from taped phone conversations with the likes of Eisenhower, MLK, and the infamous conversation Johnson had with his tailor.
BrokenTune 6 years ago
I love it that even a DNF can spark a discussion. :) You folks are awesome.