'a splendid first instalment of a two-volume biography of Lyndon Johnson ... It is a true scholarly work, based not only on an enviable mastery of primary and secondary published sources, but also on careful research in over a hundred manuscript collections and imaginative use of over 250 oral histories and interviews. Further, it is written in a crisp and compelling style which makes it a pleasure to read ... the authoritative academic study.'
M.J. Heale, Lancaster University, American Studies, Vol. 26, Pt. 2 'a striking example of devolutionary policy ... the sense of fairness is pervasive ... There is no concealment of the daemonic polecat aspects of Johnson.'
Roy Jenkins, The Spectator 'a meticulous researcher and equally good historian ... Dallek gets pretty close to a plausible analysis of the many contradictions in this most complex of politicians'
Jurek Martin, Financial Times 'I know of few books which bring you closer to the nuts and bolts of American politics.
Paul Johnson, Sunday Telegraph 'In this first volume of what promises to be a magisterial two-part work, Robert Dallek once again emerges firmly on the defence side of the argument.'
Anthony Howard, Sunday Times 'Robert Dallek has now written the first volume of a scrupulously fair biography...LBJ was a distinctly unlovable scoundrel: he was needy, self-pitying, a bully, a mama's boy and a narcissist...He was also the man who did incomparably more to secure racial and social justice than any other American president. Dallek is as interested in the latter creature as in the former; it is a sad fact that this nowadays seems almost an antiquarian taste.
Fredric Paul Smoler, The Observer 'assimilates a huge mass of conflicting evidence on a large, controversial topic and writes a dispassionate history that makes sense of it without oversimplification or overgeneralization ... succeeds brilliantly ... should stand for a long time as the best scholarly life of Lyndon Johnson'
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