Friday, April 22, 2011

Goodwin - Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream

Goodwin, Doris Kearns. Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. New York: Harper & Row, 1976.

Like Dallek, Goodwin aims at an amateur psychological evaluation of what went wrong with the LBJ presidency.

Andrew Rolle - Pacific Historical Review

"What does the Kearns volume tell us about Johnson intrapsychically
that would help to explain his later conduct during America's
greatest recent tragedy, the violent war in Vietnam? Filled with
powerful emotions, including a vague and ill-defined rage, Johnson
also revealed a deep-seated need to be loved. Ambivalence resulting
from deprivation lay at the heart of his "life-style." At times Johnson
was alternatively cold, distant, sober, energy-bound, humble, earnest,
and desensitized (lacking in affect) to the point of dullness and
boorishness...Kearns creates a portrait of a flawed yet gifted manipulator."

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