Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Johnson : An Oral History

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Lady Bird Johnson, an early champion of the environment and Project Head Start, has been widely acknowledged as one of America's greatest First Ladies. In a 1982 poll, historians ranked her the third most influential, behind Abigail Adams and Eleanor Roosevelt. This oral history encompass three important stories. The first is that of a young woman's transformation from a shy, rural East Texan into one of America's most admired First Ladies. The second reveals the remarkable emergence of Lyndon Johnson, one of the twentieth century's most powerful political and legislative leaders, as told by his most trusted confidante. Finally, this volume presents a keen observer's day-by-day view of a turbulent world, as "the greatest generation" confronted momentous challenges at home and abroad. Lady Bird Johnson's oral history provides an intimate, first-person narrative of her own development and activities as well as the life she shared with LBJ. It includes her vivid descriptions of the moments and events that shaped their destiny and influenced their attitudes on such issues as civil rights, education, health care, and national defense. Her rich verbal portraits brings to life scores of prominent political personalities, including Sam Rayburn, Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy. The core narrative consists of thirty-seven oral history interviews that Michael L. Gillette conducted with her during the late 1970s and 1980s; the transcripts were opened only in May 2011 and have never previously been available for research. The lengthy seal under which they have been held is a measure of Lady Bird's expansiveness and candor. In recording the interviews, Mrs. Johnson marshaled the same elegant prose and attention to detail that characterized her memoir, A White House Diary. Selected excerpts from interviews with some of those who knew Lady Bird Johnson best, as well as transcripts of White House tapes, appear in sidebars to amplify and supplement her own narrative. Oxford will publish the book to coincide with the centennial of Lady Bird Johnson's birth in December more

Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 158 x 240 x 36mm | 680.39g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 17 b/w halftones
  • 0199908087
  • 9780199908080
  • 1,229,735

Review quote

Readers will find this book a source of insights not just into the life of this remarkable first lady, but also into many disparate aspects of twentieth-century life: education for women, early days of broadcasting, segregation, hired help, medical care, social customs in Washington, Texas politics, the evolution of a first ladys role, early environmental issues, and days when law-making relied on a healthy dose of personal relationships not dictated by political affiliation. The book is a treasure trove precisely because it represents the best of oral history process and stands as an example others should follow. * Mary Kay Quinlan, Oral History Review *show more

About Michael L. Gillette

Executive director, Humanities Texas; former Chief of Acquisitions and Oral History, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum; author, Launching the War on Poverty: An Oral History, (2nd ed., OUP, 2010)show more

Table of contents

Introduction ; Chapter 1: Childhood Memories ; Chapter 2: Education, 1924-1934 ; Chapter 3: A Whirlwind Courtship ; Chapter 4: Washington to Texas and Back, 1934-1937 ; Chapter 5: In Congress, 1937-1940 ; Chapter 6: 1941, "A Watershed Year" ; Chapter 7: 1942, Gravity, Anger, and Determination ; Chapter 8: Nesting and Investing, 1942-1943 ; Chapter 9: War Years, 1943-1945 ; Chapter 10: "A Grinding Occupation," 1946-1947 ; Chapter 11: 1948 ; Chapter 12: LBJ in the Senate ; Chapter 13: A Senate Wife ; Chapter 14: The LBJ Ranch ; Chapter 15: The Loyal Opposition, 1953-1955 ; Chapter 16: Pivotal Years, 1956-1959 ; Chapter 17: 1960, The Point of No Return ; Chapter 18: Vice Presidency: Growth, Travel and Tragedy ; Chapter 19: The White House Years ; Bibliography ; Notes ; Indexshow more

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52 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
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4 31% (16)
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2 10% (5)
1 2% (1)
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